Admission blood glucose level as risk indicator of death after myocardial infarction in patients with and without diabetes mellitus

Arch Intern Med. 2004 May 10;164(9):982-8. doi: 10.1001/archinte.164.9.982.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / blood*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / mortality*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood*
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment


  • Blood Glucose