Risk factors for 30-day readmission following hypoglycemia-related emergency room and inpatient admissions

BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2016 Apr 4;4(1):e000160. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2015-000160. eCollection 2016.


Objective: Hypoglycemia is a serious complication of diabetes treatment. This retrospective observational study characterized hypoglycemia-related hospital emergency room (ER) and inpatient (in-pt) admissions and identified risk factors for 30-day all-cause and hypoglycemia-related readmission.

Research design and methods: 4476 hypoglycemia-related ER and in-pt encounters with discharge dates from 1/1/2009 to 3/31/2014 were identified in a large, multicenter electronic health record database. Outcomes were 30-day all-cause ER/hospital readmission and hypoglycemia-related readmission. Multivariable logistic regression methods identified risk factors for both outcomes.

Results: 1095 (24.5%) encounters had ER/hospital all-cause readmission within 30 days and 158 (14.4%) of these were hypoglycemia-related. Predictors of all-cause 30-day readmission included recent exposure to a hospital/nursing home (NH)/skilled nursing facility (SNF; OR 1.985, p<0.001); age 25-34 and 35-44 (OR 2.334 and 1.996, respectively, compared with age 65-74, both p<0.001); and African-American (AA) race versus all other race categories (OR 1.427, p=0.011). Other factors positively associated with readmission include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cerebrovascular disease, cardiac dysrhythmias, congestive heart disease, hypertension, and mood disorders. Predictors of readmissions attributable to hypoglycemia included recent exposure to a hospital/NH/SNF (OR 2.299, p<0.001), AA race (OR 1.722, p=0.002), age 35-44 (OR 3.484, compared with age 65-74, p<0.001), hypertension (OR 1.891, p=0.019), and delirium/dementia and other cognitive disorders (OR 1.794, p=0.038). Obesity was protective against 30-day hypoglycemia-related readmission (OR 0.505, p=0.017).

Conclusions: Factors associated with 30-day all-cause and hypoglycemia-related readmission among patients with diabetic hypoglycemia include recent exposure to hospital/SNF/NH, adults <45 years, AAs, and several cardiovascular and respiratory-related comorbid conditions.

Keywords: Hospitalizations; Hypoglycemia; Modeling Statistics; Outcomes Assessment.