According to recent research, blood glucose levels measured in hospitalized adults during acute illness can predict the risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the following 3 years.
Type 2 diabetes - also known as hyperglycemia - is a common disease condition in which blood glucose is higher than normal. As of 2010, nearly 300 million people worldwide were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. People with this condition either do not produce enough insulin, or their body is unable to use insulin properly.
Researchers in the present study measured blood glucose levels in over 85,000 patients aged 40 years or older who had originally been hospitalized for an acute illness. They then identified patients who developed type 2 diabetes up to December 2011 through the Scottish Care Information - Diabetes Collaboration national registry.
They found that the overall 3-year risk of developing type 2 diabetes rose linearly with increasing blood glucose level at admission. The 3-year risk of type 2 diabetes was 1% for patients with a glucose level of less than 90 mg/dl and increased to roughly 15% for patients with a glucose level of 270 mg/dl or more.
Based on their analysis, the researchers developed a risk calculator that uses the patient's age, sex and admission blood glucose level to predict the risk of developing diabetes over 3 years following hospital admission. However, it’s important to note that this approach has not yet been validated in non-white populations or populations outside of Scotland.