Hyperglycaemia in patients with acute ischaemic stroke: How often do we screen for undiagnosed diabetes?

Dawn M. Bravata, N. Kim, J. Concato, L. M. Brass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Background: Hyperglycaemia is common among patients; with acute ischaemic stroke, and may be due to the physiological stress of the acute stroke event or reflect underlying diabetes mellitus. The under-diagnosis of diabetes in the general population, combined with the association of diabetes and stroke, suggests a rationale for screening for diabetes among hyperglycaemic stroke patients. Aim: To determine how often clinicians screen for diabetes among hyperglycaemic stroke patients without a prior diagnosis of diabetes. Design: Retrospective medical record review. Methods: We reviewed the records of acute ischaemic stroke patients admitted at any of ten Connecticut hospitals from May 1996 through December 1998. Results: We identified 90 acute stroke patients with no prior history of diabetes. The prevalence of hyperglycaemia varied from 31% down to 6%, depending on the maximum glucose cut-off used to define hyperglycaemia: from ≥ 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/l) to ≥ 200 mg/dl (11.1 mmol/l). Only one of the hyperglycaemic patients (1/90, 1%) had any evidence that a clinician screened or planned to screen for undiagnosed diabetes: one patient had a haemoglobin A1c measured during the hospitalization, none received oral glucose tolerance testing while hospitalized, and no discharge summary included a plan to screen for diabetes as an out-patient. Discussion: Hyperglycaemic stroke patients without a previous diagnosis of diabetes are not routinely screened for diabetes. This situation represents an opportunity, currently unused, to identify an important and modifiable condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-497
Number of pages7
JournalQJM - Monthly Journal of the Association of Physicians
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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