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Diabetes, pre-diabetes and the risks of hospitalisation

Investigators have recently examined data from the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study to examine the frequency and types of hospitalisations among people with pre-diabetes or diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed). They found that these people are at a significantly elevated risk of hospitalisation compared with those without pre-diabetes or diabetes. Of particular note, there were substantial excess rates of hospitalisation in people with diagnosed diabetes for endocrine, infection, and iatrogenic or injury causes, which may be preventable with improved diabetes care.

By Colin Kenny, GP, Dromore

In this analysis, researchers included 13,522 individuals from the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study who were followed up from 1990 to 2011 for hospitalisations. Participants were categorised by diabetes status as having no diagnosed diabetes, pre-diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes or diagnosed diabetes. People who had pre-diabetes or diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed) had a significantly higher risk of being hospitalised than those without these conditions.

Participants had an average age of 57 years. Those with diagnosed diabetes and an HbA1c level of at least 53 mmol/mol (7.0%) had a risk of being hospitalised that was more than three times higher than that in those without a history of diagnosed diabetes, and a 50% higher risk than those with diagnosed diabetes and HbA1c less than 53 mmol/mol (7.0%). Those with undiagnosed diabetes were 60% more likely to be hospitalised than those without diabetes and those with pre-diabetes were 30% more likely. It was also found that there were substantial excess rates of hospitalisation in people with diagnosed diabetes for endocrine, infection, and iatrogenic or injury causes, which may be preventable with improved diabetes care.

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