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Pneumonia More Likely To Kill People With High Blood Sugar



According to a press release published by BMJ, high blood glucose levels can be used to predict pneumonia fatality in non-diabetics. The finding suggests that hyperglycemia could worsen pneumonia's impact on people who contract the disease.

European scientists made this discovery based on the results of a study which sought to determine if high glucose levels could predict negative outcomes in patients admitted to hospitals for community acquired pneumonia.

Community acquired pneumonia is a common form of pneumonia affecting people of all ages throughout the world. The term is primarily used to describe a conditions wherein people who haven't been recently admitted to the hospital develop pneumonia.

According to study authors, while some research suggests a link between high blood glucose and increased risk of pneumonia related death, others have not been able to establish one.

In order to determine whether such an association exists, European researchers studied 6891 patients whom were admitted to private practices and hospitals in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.

When the scientists compared normal and abnormally high glucose levels upon admission, they discovered that patients with elevated blood glucose were more likely to die within 28 to 90 days.

They also noted that mortality risk went up as the patient's admission glucose levels increased. To further illustrate the relationship between elevated blood glucose and increased pneumonia mortality risk, Eureopean scientists observed the following:

  • nondiabetics with normal blood glucose levels on admission to health care facilities had 3 % mortality within 90 days
  • nondiabetics with elevated glucose levels upon admission had a 10% mortality rate
  • diabetics regardless of blood glucose levels on admission had a 14% mortality rate

The current study supports findings made by Danish researchers who studied the effect type 2 diabetes would have on risk of pneumonia mortality and complications. In that study, which was published in Diabetes Care journal, Jette Kornum and colleagues from Aarhus University Hospital, studied 29,900 Danish patients of which 2,931 were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

When Kornum's team looked at diabetes mortality, they observed more diabetic patient deaths than among other groups i.e. 19.9 % vs 15.1% after 30 days and 27.0% vs 21.6% after 90 days leading them to conclude that type 2 diabetes and high blood glucose upon admission is a predictor of increased pneumonia-related deaths.

Regarding the current study, Philipp Lepper from University Hospital of Saarland, Germany said that people begin to die when blood glucose is "at only slightly elevated levels that remain below the threshold for diabetes."

Therefore, the research team concluded that "glucose testing and close glucose monitoring after discharge are necessary to diagnose diabetes and to prevent further complications."


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Article Sources

BMJ Press Release 

Kornum, J., Thomsen, R., Riis, A., Lervang, H., Schonheyder, H., & Sorensen, H. (2007). Type 2 Diabetes and Pneumonia Outcomes: A population-based cohort study Diabetes Care, 30 (9), 2251-2257 DOI: 10.2337/dc06-2417


"Pneumonia More Likely To Kill People With High Blood Sugar" copyright © 2012 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.



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