A new analysis shows that hospital admissions for a short-term and avoidable complication of diabetes have increased by nearly 39 percent in the last ten years. The research is published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
The NHR-supported study analysed data for almost 80,000 patients who were admitted to hospital for hypoglycaemia. 101,475 dangerously low levels of blood sugar episodes occurred between 2005 and 2014. The number of admissions for such episodes increased from 7,868 in 2005 to 11,756 in 2010 and to 10,977 in 2014. This translates into a 49 percent increase in and then a 39 percent increase in ten years. During the study period, the length of hospital stay, mortality and one-month readmissions declined progressively.
Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes & Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, who guided the team, said: "Given the continuous rise of diabetes prevalence, ageing population, and costs associated with hypoglycaemia, individual and national initiatives should be implemented to reduce the burden of hospital admissions for hypos."
With respect to the reduction in admission rates, Prof. Khunti pointed out htat this was due to an increase in newly-diagnosed patients with Type 2 diabetes as they had a much lower risk of hypoglycaemia.
The goal of the study was to analyse long-term trends in hospital admission for hypoglycaemia and patinet outcomes as well as widen understanding about the global burden of hypoglycaemia and hospitalisation. It is estimated that the average cost per hospital admission in England for hypoglycaemia is over £1,000 and the total cost of treating severe episodes is around £13 million. While hypoglycaemia episodes tend to be mild in general and can be self-treated, severe ones if left untreated can lead to coma, hospitalisation and even death.
Source: University of Leicester
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