Background: High admission blood glucose levels after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) are common and associated with an increased risk of death in subjects with and without known diabetes. Recent data indicate a high prevalence of abnormal glucose metabolism in patients with unknown diabetes at the time of AMI. We investigated the predictive value of admission blood glucose levels after AMI for long-term prognosis in patients with and without previously diagnosed diabetes mellitus, particularly in those with unknown diabetes but with blood glucose levels in the diabetic range.
Methods: In a retrospective study with prospective follow-up, 846 patients (737 without and 109 with known diabetes) were eligible for follow-up during a median of 50 months (range, 0-93 months).
Results: During follow-up, 208 nondiabetic patients (28.2%) and 47 diabetic patients (43.1%) died (P =.002). An increase of 18 mg/dL (1 mmol/L) in glucose level was associated with a 4% increase of mortality risk in nondiabetic patients and 5% in diabetic patients (both P<.05). Of the 737 previously nondiabetic subjects, 101 had admission blood glucose levels of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or more, and mortality in these patients was comparable to that in patients who had established diabetes (42.6% vs 43.1%).
Conclusions: Admission blood glucose level after AMI is an independent predictor of long-term mortality in patients with and without known diabetes. Subjects with unknown diabetes and admission glucose levels of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or more after AMI have mortality rates comparable to those of subjects with established diabetes. Admission blood glucose level may serve to identify subjects at high long-term mortality risk, in particular among those with unknown diabetes.