Hospital in-patient statistics underestimate the morbidity associated with diabetes mellitus

Diabet Med. 1992 May;9(4):379-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.1992.tb01801.x.


Hospital in-patient statistics are an important outcome measurement in the assessment of the morbidity associated with diabetes mellitus. A prospective study of 157 consecutive admissions over a 28-day period compared diagnoses obtained from the clinical records with the ICD9 coding of the same admissions recorded at the Information and Statistics Division of the Scottish Health Service. Sixty-one percent of all discharge summaries omitted the diagnosis of diabetes. Even when admission was principally related to diabetes complications, 47% of medical and 88% of surgical discharge summaries omitted diabetes as a diagnostic category. ICD9 coding underestimated the percentage of admissions accounted for by diabetic patients by 100% (2.8 vs 5.6%) and as a result underestimated bed occupancy by over 200% (4.3 vs 13.7%), and is thus failing to fulfil its potential as a demographic and epidemiological record of resource use by disease classification.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bed Occupancy
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Length of Stay
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Patient Discharge
  • Scotland / epidemiology