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The prevalence of hyperglycaemia and its relationship with mortality, readmissions and length of stay in an older acute surgical population: a multicentre study
  1. Phyo Kyaw Myint1,2,
  2. Stephanie Owen3,
  3. Lyndsay Pearce4,
  4. Matthew F Greig2,
  5. Hui Sian Tay2,
  6. Caroline McCormack2,
  7. Kathryn McCarthy5,
  8. Susan J Moug6,
  9. Michael J Stechman7,
  10. Jonathan Hewitt3
  11. on behalf of Older Persons Surgical Outcomes Collaboration (OPSOC)
  1. 1AGEING; Epidemiology Group, Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
  2. 2Department of Medicine for the Elderly, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, UK
  3. 3University Hospital Llandough, Cardiff, UK
  4. 4Department of General Surgery, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK
  5. 5Department of General Surgery, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK
  6. 6Department of General Surgery, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley, Greater Glasgow, UK
  7. 7Department of General Surgery, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonathan Hewitt, University Hospital Llandough, Cardiff CF642XX, UK; hewittj2{at}


Background The purpose of the study is to examine the prevalence of hyperglycaemia in an older acute surgical population and its effect on clinically relevant outcomes in this setting.

Methods Using Older Persons Surgical Outcomes Collaboration (OPSOC) multicentre audit data 2014, we examined the prevalence of admission hyperglycaemia, and its effect on 30-day and 90-day mortality, readmission within 30 days and length of acute hospital stay using logistic regression models in consecutive patients, ≥65 years, admitted to five acute surgical units in the UK hospitals in England, Scotland and Wales. Patients were categorised in three groups based on their admission random blood glucose: <7.1, between 7.1 and 11.1 and ≥11.1 mmol/L.

Results A total of 411 patients (77.25±8.14 years) admitted during May and June 2014 were studied. Only 293 patients (71.3%) had glucose levels recorded on admission. The number (%) of patients with a blood glucose <7.1, 7.1–11.1 and ≥11.1 mmol/L were 171 (58.4), 99 (33.8) and 23 (7.8), respectively. On univariate analysis, admission hyperglycaemia was not predictive of any of the outcomes investigated. Although the characteristics of those with no glucose level were not different from the included sample, 30-day mortality was significantly higher in those who had not had their admission glucose level checked (10.2% vs 2.7%), suggesting a potential type II error.

Conclusion Despite current guidelines, nearly a third of older people with surgical diagnoses did not have their glucose checked on admission highlighting the challenges in prognostication and evaluation research to improve care of older frail surgical patients.


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