Blood glucose levels measured in hospitalized adults during acute illness can be used to predict risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the following 3 years, according to a study published by David McAllister and colleagues from the University of Edinburgh, UK in PLOS Medicine.
The researchers obtained measurements of blood glucose levels on admission for 86,634 patients aged 40 years or older who were admitted to a hospital for an acute illness between 2004 and 2008 in Scotland and identified those patients who developed type 2 diabetes up to December 2011 through the Scottish Care Information - Diabetes Collaboration national registry. They found that the overall 3-year risk of developing type 2 diabetes was 2.3%, with the risk of developing diabetes increased linearly with increasing blood glucose level at admission. The 3-year risk of type 2 diabetes was 1% for patients with a glucose level of less than 5 mmol/l (90 mg/dl) and increased to approximately 15% for patients with a glucose of 15 mmol/l (270 mg/dl) or more.
Based on their analyses, the researchers developed a risk calculator that uses the patient's age, sex, and admission blood glucose level to predict risk of developing diabetes over 3 years following hospital admission. However, the authors note that this approach has not yet been validated in non-white populations or populations outside of Scotland.
The authors say: "These findings can be used to inform individual patients of their long-term risk of type 2 diabetes and to offer lifestyle advice as appropriate."