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WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Among noncritical hospitalized COVID-19 patients, admission hyperglycemia is an independent predictor of all-cause mortality, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in the Annals of Medicine.

Francisco Javier Carrasco-Sánchez, M.D., Ph.D., from Jiménez University Hospital in Huelva, Spain, and colleagues conducted a retrospective multicenter study involving 11,312 noncritical patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Spain. Patients were classified according to admission blood glucose (BG) levels: <140, 140 to 180, and >180 mg/dL.

Of the patients, 18.9 percent had diabetes and 20.4 percent died during hospitalization. The researchers found that the in-hospital mortality rates were 15.7, 33.7, and 41.1 percent for BG <140, 140 to 180, and >180 mg/mL, respectively. Compared with patients with normoglycemia, those with hyperglycemia had a significantly higher cumulative probability of mortality, independent of preexisting diabetes. After adjustment for age, diabetes, hypertension, and other confounding variables, hyperglycemia was an independent risk factor for mortality (hazard ratios, 1.50 and 1.48, respectively, for BG >180 and 140 to 180 mg/dL). There were also associations noted for hyperglycemia with the requirement for mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit admission, and mortality.

“Screening for hyperglycemia in patients without diabetes and early treatment should be mandatory in the management of patients hospitalized with COVID-19,” Javier Carrasco said in a statement. “Admission hyperglycemia should not be overlooked, but rather detected and appropriately treated to improve the outcomes of COVID-19 patients with and without diabetes.”

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