The clinical impact of hypoglycemia in hospitalized patients

  • Vito Borzì Dipartimento Medicina II, AOU Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele, Catania, Italy.
  • Andrea Fontanella | Dipartimento di Medicina, Ospedale del Buon Consiglio Fatebenefratelli, Napoli, Italy.


Hypoglycemia is a very common problem, mostly in frail, severely ill, older hospitalized patients. Hypoglycemia has been implicated in the development of adverse clinical outcomes, including an increased mortality. Fear of iatrogenic hypoglycemia remains an obstacle to adequate inpatient glycemic control. It may be considered as a marker of disease, rather than cause in itself of undesirable events. Several factors, such as treatment with exogenous insulin, mismatch between insulin administration and meal intake with the loss of normal counter regulatory responses, place patients with diabetes at higher risk for hypoglycemia than the ones without diabetes. In this review we discuss the causes and predictors of hypoglycemia in non-critically ill hospitalized patients and how to prevent them. Subcutaneous insulin with basal-bolus regimen rather than sliding scale and the use of analogues may minimize hypoglycemic events. In-patient glycemic management should be patient-centered, following the current guidelines, and aimed to prevent hypoglycemic events.


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hypoglycemia, diabetes, non-critical illness, inpatients.
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How to Cite
Borzì, V., & Fontanella, A. (2015). The clinical impact of hypoglycemia in hospitalized patients. Italian Journal of Medicine, 9(1), 11-19.