Diabetes patients with abnormal blood sugar levels are more likely to have longer, more costly hospital stays than those with glucose levels in a healthy range, says a new study.
"Data from the new studies suggest poorly controlled blood sugar readings could serve as a marker for better managing the care of patients with diabetes both during their hospital stays and after they have been discharged," said co-author Athena Philis-Tsimikas, endocrinologist and corporate vice-president of the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute.
"Our research supports having more caregivers in the hospital and clinic settings, who are focused on identifying these patients and working to make sure their diabetes is properly managed," Tsimikas added.
For their study, researchers used data for 9,995 patients with diabetes, who underwent blood sugar monitoring during their stays. Patients with poor glucose control (one or more readings exceeding 400 mg/dL) had significantly longer hospital stays averaging 8.50 days than those with good glucose control (readings ranging between 70 and 199 mg/dL) who had stays averaging 5.74 days.
The second study examined blood sugar data for 2,024 patients with diabetes. Patients, who experienced high glucose readings (greater than 180 mg/dL) or low glucose readings (below 70 mg/dL) had significantly longer stays.
The results were presented at the 75th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in Boston.