Though previous studies have demonstrated that hypoglycemia is a risk factor for inpatient mortality among hospitalized patients, many clinicians may not be aware of the seriousness of this finding. The purpose of this study was to describe the most common comorbidities and outcomes of patients admitted with hypoglycemia (<70 mg/dL) to increase provider awareness.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study at a single academic medical center. Eligible subjects were admitted with a diagnosis of hypoglycemia. We compiled a descriptive analysis of inpatient mortality and independent variables of common comorbidities and medications known to be associated with hypoglycemia.
Data were abstracted on 68 patients. Inpatient mortality was 14.7%. In addition, 10.3% of patients were discharged to hospice care. 5.9% were readmitted within 30 days.
Several groups of non-diabetic patients who require hospitalization that present with hypoglycemia are at significant risk for inpatient mortality. Sepsis, active cancer and ICU admission appear to confer the highest risk of mortality. Patients with hypoglycemia in the setting of alcohol withdrawal did not have a similar risk of dying in the hospital.