J Hosp Med. 2021 Jul 21. doi: 10.12788/jhm.3654. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: Despite clinical guideline recommendations, sliding scale insulin (SSI) is widely used for the hospital management of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). We aimed to determine which patients with T2D can be appropriately managed with SSI in non-critical care settings.
METHODS: We used electronic health records to assess inpatient glycemic control in medicine and surgical patients treated with SSI according to admission blood glucose (BG) concentration between June 2010 and June 2018. Primary outcome was the percentage of patients with T2D achieving target glycemic control, defined as mean hospital BG 70 to 180 mg/dL without hypoglycemia <70 mg/dL during SSI therapy.
RESULTS: Among 25,813 adult patients with T2D, 8,095 patients (31.4%) were treated with SSI. Among patients with admission BG <140 mg/dL and BG 140 to 180 mg/dL, 86% and 83%, respectively, achieved target control without hypoglycemia, as compared with only 18% of those with admission BG ≥250 mg/dL (P < .001). After adjusting for age, gender, body mass index (BMI), race, Charlson Comorbidity Index score, and setting, the odds of poor glycemic control increased with higher admission BG (BG 140-180 mg/dL: odds ratio [OR], 1.8; 95% CI, 1.5-2.2; BG 181-250 mg/dL: OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 3.1-4.4; BG >250 mg/dL: OR, 7.2; 95% CI, 5.8-9.0), as compared with patients with BG <140 mg/dL. A total of 1,192 patients (15%) treated with SSI required additional basal insulin during hospitalization.
CONCLUSION: Most non-intensive care unit patients with admission BG <180 mg/dL treated with SSI alone achieve target glycemic control during hospitalization, suggesting that cautious use of SSI may be a viable option for certain patients with mild hyperglycemia.