Objective: This study describes the incidence, correlates and subsequent morbidities of hyperglycemia, a highly prevalent condition in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants.
Study design: A retrospective chart review of 169 infants with birth weight (BW)<1000 g was conducted. Hyperglycemia was defined as plasma glucose level > or =150 mg/dl during the first 2 weeks of life. Data were analyzed by logistic regression, multivariate analysis and Fisher exact test.
Results: Overall, 88% of the study sample developed hyperglycemia in the first 2 weeks of life. Both gestational age (GA) (odds ratio (OR) 0.11, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.01-0.89) and chorioamnionitis (OR 0.10, 95% CI=0.01-0.64) were inversely associated with hyperglycemia, whereas BW, sepsis and postnatal steroid exposure were not. After adjusting for GA, BW and postnatal steroids, hyperglycemia was associated with a statistically significant increase in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) (OR 4.6, 95% CI 1.12-18.9). No association was found with bronchopulmonary dysplasia, intraventricular hemorrhage, death or prolonged hospital stay.
Conclusion: Lower GA was identified as the main factor associated with hyperglycemia in ELBW infants during the first 2 weeks of life. Hyperglycemia was associated with an increased incidence of ROP; further studies need to determine if this association is causal.