Healthcare resource implications of hypoglycemia-related hospital admissions and inpatient hypoglycemia: retrospective record-linked cohort studies in England

BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2015 Mar 20;3(1):e000057. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2014-000057. eCollection 2015.


Objective: Using a retrospective cohort study, the mean length of hospital stay (LoS) and total per-patient expenditure for hypoglycemia requiring admission to hospital were estimated. In a separate matched retrospective cohort study, the effect of inpatient hypoglycemia on LoS, expenditure, and risk of all-cause mortality while admitted was investigated.

Methods: The cohorts consisted of patients aged ≥18 years with a diagnosis of type 1 or 2 diabetes between January 1, 2002 and October 30, 2012 in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink database, who had initiated insulin treatment and had a recording of hypoglycemia in the same period. In the matched retrospective cohort study, exposed patients (who experienced hypoglycemia in hospital) were case-matched with patients who did not experience hypoglycemia during admission (unexposed). Generalized linear regression was used to estimate LoS. Risk of all-cause mortality was evaluated via logistic regression.

Results: In the retrospective cohort study (1131 patients), mean LoS was 5.46 (95% CI 4.62 to 6.45) days for type 1 diabetes, and 5.04 (95% CI 4.46 to 5.71) days for type 2 diabetes. Mean cost per admission was £1034 (95% CI £855 to £1253). In the matched retrospective cohort study (1079 pairs of patients), exposed patients had a mean LoS of 11.91 days (95% CI 10.96 to 12.94 days) versus 4.80 (95% CI 4.41 to 5.23) for unexposed patients, p<0.0001. Exposed patients had a higher mortality risk compared with unexposed patients (OR 1.439 (95% CI 1.060to 1.952), p=0.0195). Total average per-patient cost for exposed patients was GBP (£)2235, 40% (p<0.0001) higher than total average admission cost in unexposed patients.

Conclusions: Hypoglycemia has a significant negative impact on patient outcomes, healthcare resource use, and expenditure.

Keywords: Cost(s); Database(s); Hypoglycemia; Resource Use.