In a nutshell
This study examined if nutritional supplements can reduce the rate of hypoglycemia in patients with Type 2 diabetes (T2D). This study concluded that these supplements helped reduce hypoglycemia and lowered mortality risk for these patients.
Treatment for T2D, such as insulin, can cause blood sugar levels to become too low. This is called hypoglycemia (HG). HG can increase the mortality risk for patients admitted to the hospital. Patients who are hospitalized are also often malnourished, eating less than half of the food served to them. This can lead to HG or cause already low blood sugar levels to drop even further.
Nutritional supplements (NS) are drinks that contain a good amount and balance of nutrients. These drinks can help prevent undernourishment for hospitalized patients. However, whether NS can help lessen or prevent HG in patients with T2D is unclear.
Methods & findings
This study included 218 patients with T2D who were admitted to the hospital. 27.1% of patients had HG. All patients were given NS at an average of 3 days after being admitted to the hospital. 69.5% of patients took NS every day while in the hospital. 68.8% of patients were on glucose-lowering medications, and 38.5% of patients received insulin.
Patients with HG had a significantly longer hospital stay compared to patients who did not have HG (19.9 days vs. 11.3 days). Patients with HG also had a higher 30-day mortality rate (25.4%) than patients who did not have HG (8.2%). At 6 months, this difference was even greater (52.5% vs. 22.6%).
Patients given NS after a week or more of being in the hospital had a 9.4% higher occurrence of HG. However, patients who drank all the NS given to them had a 63.6% lower risk of HG and a 69.9% lower mortality risk compared to patients who did not drink all of the NS.
Overall, patients with HG had 2.764-fold higher risk of mortality after 30 days compared to patients who did not have HG. The risk of HG was also associated with older age (1.048-fold higher risk) and with taking insulin (3.059-fold higher risk).
The bottom line
This study concluded that HG was associated with longer hospital stays and increased mortality risk in patients with T2D. The authors suggest that NS is more effective in reducing HG and mortality risk the sooner it is given to patients admitted to the hospital.
The fine print
This study only used retrospective data for patients with T2D who were already hospitalized. This study also did not measure how much food patients ate, which may have contributed to HG. Lastly, this study included a small number of patients.
Talk to your doctor about the strategies that are right for you to prevent hyperglycemia.
Published By :
Aug 08, 2019
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