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      Glycated hemoglobin A1c-based adjusted glycemic variables in patients with diabetes presenting with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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          Acute hyperglycemia is a common finding in patients presenting to emergency departments (EDs) with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD). Several studies have argued against the association between hyperglycemia at admission and adverse outcomes in patients with diabetes and an acute illness. Recent studies have shown that glucose-related variables (eg, glycemic gaps and stress hyperglycemia ratios) that are adjusted for glycated hemoglobin levels can indicate the severity of a variety of diseases. The objective of this study was to assess whether these hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)-based adjusted average glycemic variables were associated with unfavorable outcomes in patients admitted to a hospital with AECOPD. We found that 1) pulmonary infection is a major risk factor for AECOPD; 2) a higher glycemic gap and modified stress hyperglycemia ratio were associated with the development of acute respiratory failure (ARF) in patients with diabetes admitted to an ED because of AECOPD; and 3) the glycemic gap and modified stress hyperglycemia ratio had superior discriminative power over acute hyperglycemia and HbA1c for predicting the development of ARF, although the HbA1c-adjusted glycemic variables alone were not independent risk factors for ARF.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Taking glucocorticoids by prescription is associated with subsequent cardiovascular disease.

          Glucocorticoids have adverse systemic effects, including obesity, hypertension, and hyperglycemia, that may predispose to cardiovascular disease. The effect of glucocorticoid use on cardiovascular disease has not been quantified. To test the hypothesis that users of exogenous glucocorticoids have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. A cohort study using a record linkage database. Tayside, Scotland, United Kingdom. 68,781 glucocorticoid users and 82,202 nonusers without previous hospitalization for cardiovascular disease who were studied between 1993 and 1996. The average daily dose of glucocorticoid exposure during follow-up was categorized as low (inhaled, nasal, and topical only), medium (oral, rectal, or parenteral or =7.5 mg of prednisolone equivalent). Poisson regression model, sensitivity analysis, and propensity score methods were used to investigate the association between glucocorticoid exposure and cardiovascular outcome. 4383 cardiovascular events occurred in 257,487 person-years of follow-up for a rate of 17.0 (95% CI, 16.5 to 17.5) per 1000 person-years in the comparator group, and 5068 events occurred in 212,287 person-years for a rate of 23.9 (CI, 23.2 to 24.5) per 1000 person-years in the group exposed to glucocorticoids (22.1, 27.2, and 76.5 in low, medium, and high groups, respectively). The absolute risk difference was 6.9 (CI, 6.0 to 7.7) per 1000 person-years (5.1, 10.1, and 59.4, respectively). After adjustment for known covariates, the relative risk for a cardiovascular event in patients receiving high-dose glucocorticoids was 2.56 (CI, 2.18 to 2.99). Because the data were observational, residual confounding cannot be excluded. Treatment with high-dose glucocorticoids seemed to be associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
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            Vascular disease and diabetes: is hypoglycaemia an aggravating factor?

            Acute hypoglycaemia provokes profound physiological changes affecting the cardiovascular system and several haematological parameters, principally as a consequence of sympatho-adrenal activation and counter-regulatory hormonal secretion. Many of these responses have an important role in protecting the brain from neuroglycopenia, through altering regional blood flow and promoting metabolic changes that will restore blood glucose to normal. In healthy young adults the cardiovascular effects are transient and have no obvious detrimental consequences. However, some of the effected changes are potentially pathophysiological and in people with diabetes who have developed endothelial dysfunction, they may have an adverse impact on a vasculature that is already damaged. The acute haemodynamic and haematological changes may increase the risk of localized tissue ischaemia, and major vascular events can certainly be precipitated by acute hypoglycaemia. These include myocardial and cerebral ischaemia and occasionally infarction. Established diabetic retinopathy often deteriorates after strict glycaemic control is instituted, the latter being associated with a threefold increase in frequency of severe hypoglycaemia, and enhanced exposure to mild hypoglycaemia. The possible mechanisms underlying these hypoglycaemia-induced effects include haemorrheological changes, white cell activation, vasoconstriction, and the release of inflammatory mediators and cytokines. The concept that acute hypoglycaemia could aggravate vascular complications associated with diabetes is discussed in relation to evolving comprehension of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and blood vessel disease.
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              Stress-induced hyperglycemia.

              Stress hyperglycemia is common and likely to be associated with at least some of the same complications as hyperglycemia in true diabetes mellitus, such as poor wound healing and a higher infection rate. The predominant cause is the intense counterregulatory hormone and cytokine responses of critical illness, often compounded by excessive dextrose administration, usually as TPN. Although randomized data suggesting benefit of controlling hyperglycemia in hospitalized patients are paltry, prospective controlled trials are feasible and should be initiated. In the interim, the practice at the authors' institution is to use insulin to lower plasma glucose concentrations to a safe range of 150 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL in all patients.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                03 July 2017
                : 12
                : 1923-1932
                [1 ]Department of Emergency Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center
                [2 ]Department of Biological Imaging and Radiological Science, National Yang-Ming University
                [3 ]Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center
                [4 ]Department of Radiology, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center
                [5 ]Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Medicine
                [6 ]Department of Emergency and Critical Medicine, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University
                [7 ]Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Department of Internal Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Shih-Hung Tsai, Department of Emergency Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Number 325, Section 2, Cheng-Kung Road, Taipei, Taiwan, Tel +886 2 8792 3311 ext 12893, Email tsaishihung@
                © 2017 Yang et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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