(HealthDay News) — During the first 6 years of follow-up, geriatric patients with diabetes have a higher mortality risk after hyperglycemic crisis episode, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Chien-Cheng Huang, MD, from the Chi Mei Medical Center in Taiwan, and colleagues delineated long-term mortality risk after hyperglycemic crisis episode using data from 13,551 geriatric patients with new-onset diabetes between 2000 and 2002. 

A total of 4,517 patients with hyperglycemic crisis episode (cases) and 9,034 without hyperglycemic crisis episode (controls) were followed through 2011.

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The researchers found that 36.17% of case subjects and 18.73% of controls died during follow-up (P<.0001). The incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of death were significantly higher (2.82-fold) in cases (P<.0001). 

In the first month, mortality risk was highest (IRR=26.56), and the increased risk persisted until 4 to 6 years after hyperglycemic crisis episode (IRR=1.49). The mortality ratio was 2.848 and 4.525 times higher in case subjects with one episode or two or more episodes of hyperglycemic crisis, respectively, after adjustment for age, sex, selected comorbidities and monthly income. 

Independent mortality predictors included older age, male sex, renal disease, stroke, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure.

“Referral for proper education, better access to medical care, effective communication with a health care provider, and control of comorbidities should be done immediately after [hyperglycemic crisis episode],” the researchers wrote.


  1. Huang C-C et al. Diabetes Care. 2015;38(5):746-751.