Sex differences in glycemic measures, complications, discharge disposition, and postdischarge emergency room visits and readmission among non-critically ill, hospitalized patients with diabetes

BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2022 Mar;10(2):e002722. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2021-002722.


Introduction: The purpose of this prospective observational cohort study was to examine sex differences in glycemic measures, diabetes-related complications, and rates of postdischarge emergency room (ER) visits and hospital readmissions in non-critically ill, hospitalized patients with diabetes.

Research design and methods: Demographic data including age, body mass index, race, blood pressure, reason for admission, diabetes medications at admission and discharge, diabetes-related complications, laboratory data (hematocrit, creatinine, hemoglobin A1c, point-of-care blood glucose measures), length of stay (LOS), and discharge disposition were collected. Patients were followed for 90 days following hospital discharge to obtain information regarding ER visits and readmissions.

Results: 120 men and 100 women consented to participate in this study. There were no sex differences in patient demographics, diabetes duration or complications, or LOS. No differences were observed in the percentage of men and women with an ER visit or hospital readmission within 30 (39% vs 33%, p=0.40) or 90 (60% vs 49%, p=0.12) days of hospital discharge. More men than women experienced hypoglycemia prior to discharge (18% vs 8%, p=0.026). More women were discharged to skilled nursing facilities (p=0.007).

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that men and women hospitalized with an underlying diagnosis of diabetes have similar preadmission glycemic measures, diabetes duration, and prevalence of diabetes complications. More men experienced hypoglycemia prior to discharge. Women were less likely to be discharged to home. Approximately 50% of men and women had ER visits or readmissions within 90 days of hospital discharge.

Trial registration number: NCT03279627.

Keywords: diabetes complications; emergency service, hospital; hospitalization; sex characteristics.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare
  • Blood Glucose
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / therapy
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Discharge
  • Patient Readmission
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Blood Glucose

Associated data