Hyperglycaemia during pneumonia prolongs the hospitalization and increases the risks of complications and death. However, its prevalence and determinants have not been systematically assessed.
This was a prospective, cross-sectional study. The material consisted of 153 hospitalized patients with pneumonia. Patients needing intensive care unit treatment were excluded. The height, weight, waist circumference, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and Karnofsky score were measured at admission. Blood tests included glycosylated haemoglobin A1c (gHbA1c), C-reactive protein (CRP), leukocytes, urea, and arterial blood gas analysis. Plasma glucose was measured 7 times during the first day on the ward. Hyperglycaemia was defined as a fasting glucose > 7.0 mmol/l or postprandial glucose > 11.1 mmol/l.
Ninety-two patients (60%) showed hyperglycaemia. Twenty-two patients had a diagnosis of diabetes before hospitalization. Of the 131 patients without such a diagnosis, 72 (55%) showed hyperglycaemia. Of these, 67 showed fasting hyperglycaemia and 36 postprandial hyperglycaemia. In the binary logistic regression analysis, the following factors showed independent associations with the presence of hyperglycaemia: advanced age, high gHbA1c, high CRP, and high blood leukocyte level.
More than half of non-diabetic patients with mild to moderate pneumonia demonstrated hyperglycaemia. The main determinants of hyperglycaemia were an abnormal pre-pneumonia glucose metabolism and the intensity of the pneumonic inflammation. Systematic screening of hyperglycaemia in all hospitalized pneumonia patients appears reasonable to identify high-risk patients.