Hospital in-patients with diabetes: increasing prevalence and management problems

Diabet Med. 2005 Jan;22(1):107-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2004.01355.x.


Aims: To re-assess the prevalence, management problems, clinical outcomes and discharge summaries of hospital in-patients with diabetes.

Methods: Case records of all patients occupying in-patient beds were audited on a single weekday in 2003 in a large urban hospital and repeated after 3 months. Data was compared with an identical audit 12 years previously.

Results: Over 12 years the number of beds available for admission (1191) had reduced by 25% with a bed occupancy of 97%. Diabetes prevalence had increased from 7.0% to 11.1% (P < 0.01) (97% Type 2). Diabetes management was considered inappropriate in 29%, more than in 1991 (20%). After 3 months, discharge summaries had been completed on 75% of patients but diabetes was mentioned in only 53%.

Conclusion: The prevalence of in-patient diabetes (11.1%) was over 50% greater and diabetes management was suboptimal in more patients than in 1991. In many length of stay was prolonged and almost half of the discharge summaries did not mention diabetes. These findings have major implications for service delivery and resource planning.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Urban Health


  • Blood Glucose