Glycemic control in non-critically ill hospitalized patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jan;97(1):49-58. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-2100. Epub 2011 Nov 16.


Background: The effect of intensive therapy to achieve tight glycemic control in patients hospitalized in non-critical care settings is unclear.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the effect of intensive glycemic control strategies on the outcomes of death, stroke, myocardial infarction, incidence of infection, and hypoglycemia. We included randomized and observational studies. Bibliographic databases were searched through February 2010. Random effects model was used to pool results across studies.

Results: Nineteen studies (nine randomized and 10 observational studies) were included. The risk of bias across studies was moderate. Meta-analysis demonstrates that intensive glycemic control was not associated with significant effect on the risk of death, myocardial infarction, or stroke. There was a trend for increased risk of hypoglycemia (relative risk, 1.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.97-2.57), particularly in surgical studies and when the planned glycemic target was achieved. Intensive glycemic control was associated with decreased risk of infection (relative risk, 0.41; 95% confidence interval, 0.21-0.77) that was mainly derived from studies in surgical settings.

Conclusion: Intensive control of hyperglycemia in patients hospitalized in non-critical care settings may reduce the risk of infection. The quality of evidence is low and mainly driven by studies in surgical settings.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Critical Illness
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / metabolism
  • Hyperglycemia / prevention & control
  • Hypoglycemia / metabolism
  • Hypoglycemia / prevention & control
  • Inpatients
  • Research Design


  • Blood Glucose