Predictors of hypoglycemia in hospitalized patients with diabetes mellitus

Amit Akirov*, Oren Amitai, Hiba Masri-Iraqi, Talia Diker-Cohen, Tzipora Shochat, Yoav Eizenberg, Ilan Shimon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypoglycemia is common among hospitalized patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Identify pre-admission risk factors associated with in-hospital hypoglycemia. Historical prospectively collected data of adult DM patients hospitalized to medical wards between 2011 and 2013. Hypoglycemia and serious hypoglycemia were defined as at least one blood glucose measurement ≤ 70 and < 54 mg/dl, respectively, during hospitalization. The primary outcome was in-hospital hypoglycemia. The cohort included 5301 patients (mean age 73 ± 13 years, 51% male), including 792 patients (15%) with hypoglycemia, among them 392 patients (7%) with serious hypoglycemia. Patients with hypoglycemia or serious hypoglycemia during hospitalization were older, compared to patients without hypoglycemia and more likely to have chronic renal failure and cerebrovascular disease. Malignancy and female gender were risk factors for hypoglycemia, but not for serious hypoglycemia, while congestive heart failure was associated with increased risk only for serious hypoglycemia. Diabetes mellitus’ duration over 10 years was associated with an almost threefold increased risk for hypoglycemia, compared to DM duration less than a year. Insulin treatment and glycated hemoglobin > 9% were also more common in patients with hypoglycemia. Insulin treatment was associated with a fourfold increase in the risk for hypoglycemia among all glycated hemoglobin categories. Our results identified several risk factors for in-hospital hypoglycemia in patients with DM. These findings may lead to appropriate monitoring and early intervention to prevent hypoglycemia and to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with in-hospital hypoglycemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-350
Number of pages8
JournalInternal and Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hospital care
  • Hospitalization
  • Hypoglycemia


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