Hypoglycaemia in patients hospitalized at internal department: prevalence and most frequent causes of its development

Authors: Matej Samoš;  Peter Galajda;  Michal Mokáň;  Matej Stančík;  Marián Mokáň
Authors‘ workplace: I. interná klinika Jesseniovej LF UK a UNM, Martin
Published in: Forum Diab 2014; 3(1): 34-39
Category: Main Theme: Original Paper


Hypoglycaemia is a severe and potentionally life – threatening event. Repeated hypoglycaemia is connected with higher cardiovascular mortality and may lead to cognitive and neurological damage. The prevalence of hypoglycaemia in hospitalized patients remains unclear. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of hypoglycaemia, its most frequent causes and risk factors of its development in patients hospitalized at internal department. 4-year retrospective study in patients hospitalized at internal wards of 1st Department of Internal Medicine JFM CU. Hypoglycaemia was defined as blood glucose level ≤ 3.0 mmol/l. Each case of hypoglycaemia from totally 17 872 hospitalizations in followed period was identified. The study monitored number of hypoglycaemic events, symptoms, probable causes, presence and type of diabetes mellitus (DM), its treatment, duration, compensation, insulin administration and presence of other diseases connected with risk of hypoglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia occurred in 558 hospitalizations (3.12 %), 1092 hypoglycaemic events were totally found. 214 patients had repeated hypoglycaemia during hospitalization. In 108 cases hypoglycaemia developed in nondiabetic patients, in 81 cases in patients with type 1 DM, in 358 cases in patients with type 2 DM and in 11 cases in patients with other types of DM. 84 % of patients were on insulin therapy, in 50.8 % of cases intensive insulin therapy was used. Insulin administration, intensive insulin therapy, tumours, kidney diseases and liver diseases were identified as most frequent probable causes of hypoglycaemia development. Hypoglycaemia is a relatively frequent event in hospitalized patients with a prevalence of 3.12 %. In patients with DM is its development mostly connected with antidiabetic therapy, whether in nondiabetic patients tumours, kidney and liver diseases play major role. Results of this study point on the necessity of glucose level monitoring not only in patients with DM, but also in patients with other diseases affecting glucose and insulin metabolism.

Key words:
diabetes mellitus – hypoglycaemia – nondiabetic reasons of hypoglycaemia –prevalence


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Diabetology Endocrinology Internal medicine
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