09:45am Tuesday 24 October 2017

Mayo Clinic Proceedings Study Finds Link Between Hypoglycemia and Mortality Rates in Critically Ill

The multicenter study involved six medical centers from Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The purpose of the study was to understand the epidemiology, severity, duration, recovery and outcome associations of hypoglycemia in critically ill patients. Of the 4,946 patients in the study, 1,109 experienced hypoglycemia and the remaining 3,837 did not (serving as the nonhypoglycemia control group). “Even after adjustment for insulin therapy or timing of hypoglycemic episode, the more severe the hypoglycemia, the greater the risk of death,” says Rinaldo Bellomo, M.D., a co-investigator from the Department of Intensive Care, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia.

Mild to moderate degrees of hypoglycemia were previously considered clinically unimportant. However, the study found that patients with hypoglycemia had nearly twice the rate of mortality (36.6 percent versus 19.7 percent) compared with those who did not have the condition. “This risk of death persisted after correction for other risk factors, suggesting that hypoglycemia may independently contribute to this increased risk,” says Dr. Bellomo.

“Our results suggest that any tolerance of mild to moderate hypoglycemia by intensive care clinicians may be undesirable. In this regard, newer technologies such as continuous glucose monitoring in the ICU setting might help avoid hypoglycemia or identify it earlier,” says Dr. Bellomo.

A peer-reviewed journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings publishes original articles and reviews dealing with clinical and laboratory medicine, clinical research, basic science research and clinical epidemiology. Mayo Clinic Proceedings is published monthly by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research as part of its commitment to the medical education of physicians. The journal has been published for more than 80 years and has a circulation of 130,000 nationally and internationally. Articles are available online.

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About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of “the needs of the patient come first.” More than 3,700 physicians, scientists and researchers, and 50,100 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has campuses in Rochester, Minn; Jacksonville, Fla; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.; and community-based providers in more than 70 locations in southern Minnesota., western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. These locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. For information about research and education, visit www.mayo.edu. MayoClinic.com (www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.


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