The Hyperglycemia “Cheat Sheet”

We are familiar with the link between hyperglycemia and increased mortality, even in patients who do not have diabetes. Our past blog posts have emphasized the importance of glucose control as a significant component of a patient’s health, particularly in intensive care environments.

To create awareness for prevention, it is imperative to put emphasis on the facts. With regard to hyperglycemia, all healthcare providers should be familiar with the following statistics:

  • 46% of patients in the ICU have hyperglycemia (blood glucose >180 mg/dL).1
  • 12% of hospital patients develop new hyperglycemia (blood glucose >126 mg/dL), even though they have not been previously diagnosed with diabetes.2
  • Hyperglycemia-related risk appears to vary depending on admission diagnosis, potentially complicating ideal control calculations.3
  • Mortality is significantly higher in patients with new hyperglycemia (16%) than in patients with diabetes (3%) or normoglycemic (1.7%).2
  • Patients with medium, high, worsening and highly variable hyperglycemia have been shown to experience significantly increased ICU stays, more days on a ventilator, higher infection rates and increased mortality rates.4
  • Patients with persistent hyperglycemia during a hospital stay are more likely to be readmitted within six months than those with a mean blood glucose of <140 mg/dL (51% vs. 37%; p=0.03).5

How can a hospital avoid contributing to the statistics listed above?

Answer: Utilize personalized glucose management software designed to safely treat hyperglycemia while preventing hypoglycemia.

Read how the Department of Surgery at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, VA was able to decrease events of blood glucose levels of >150 mg/dL by 50%.


  1. Cook CB, Kongable GL, Potter DJ, Abad VJ, Leija DE, Anderson M. Inpatient glucose control: a glycemic survey of 126 U.S. hospitals. J Hosp Med. 2009;4(9):E7–E14.
  2. Umpierrez GE, Isaacs SD, Bazargan N, You X, Thaler LM, Kitabchi AE. Hyperglycemia: an independent marker of in-hospital mortality in patients with undiagnosed diabetes. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002;87(3):978-982.
  3. Falciglia M, Freyberg RW, Almenoff PL, D’Alessio DA, Render ML. Hyperglycemia-related mortality in critically ill patients varies with admission diagnosis. Crit Care Med. 2009;37(12):3001-3009.
  4. Bochicchio, et al. 2005, Table 2.
  5. Adigopula S , Feng Y, Babu V, Parperis K, Amoateng-Adjepong Y, Zarich S. Hyperglycemia is associated with increased length of stay and total cost in patients hospitalized for congestive heart failure. World Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases. 2013; 3, 245-249.