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Hyperglycemia, Mortality Linked in Pulmonary Embolism

Last Updated: November 17, 2011.

Elevated glucose levels are common among patients with acute pulmonary embolism, and are independently associated with increased 30-day mortality, according to a study published online Nov. 10 in Diabetes Care.

THURSDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated glucose levels are common among patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE), and are independently associated with increased 30-day mortality, according to a study published online Nov. 10 in Diabetes Care.

Nathalie Scherz, M.D., from the Bern University Hospital in Switzerland, and colleagues investigated the independent associations of serum glucose levels with 30-day all-cause mortality and hospital readmission rates in 13,621 patients discharged with a primary diagnosis of acute PE between 2000 and 2002. The associations of serum glucose levels were analyzed in five categories (≤110, >110 to 140, >140 to 170, >170 to 240, and >240 mg/dL). The results were adjusted for patient (age, gender, race, insurance, comorbidities, illness severity, laboratory parameters, and thrombolysis) and hospital (region, size, and teaching status) variables.

The investigators found that 63.6 percent of the patients had elevated glucose levels of more than 110 mg/dL. The 30-day mortality increased with increasing glucose levels, and was 5.6, 8.4, 12.0, 15.6, and 18.3 percent for levels of ≤110, >110 to 140, >140 to 170, >170 to 240, and >240 mg/dL, respectively. Patients with glucose levels of >110 to 140, >140 to 170, >170 to 240, and >240 mg/dL had significantly increased odds of dying than patients with serum glucose levels of ≤110 (odds ratios, 1.19, 1.44, 1.54, or 1.60, respectively). The odds of hospital readmission rates did not vary across serum glucose categories.

"Hyperglycemia at the time of presentation was associated with a significantly higher risk of 30-day mortality," the authors write.

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