PURPOSE: Hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus traditionally receive insulin on a sliding-scale regimen, but the benefits of this approach are unclear. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of the sliding scale insulin regimen with those of routine diabetes medications on hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia and length of hospitalization in diabetic patients hospitalized for other conditions. METHODS: This was a multicenter, randomized controlled trial conducted in family medicine inpatient services. One hundred fifty-three patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus hospitalized for other conditions were randomized to receive routine diabetes medications (control) or the combination of a standard sliding-scale insulin regimen and routine diabetes medications (intervention). The outcome measures included frequency of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia (glycemic events), and length of hospitalization. RESULTS: No differences were identified between treatment groups in the frequency of glycemic events. In the intervention group, 33.3% of patients developed hyperglycemia compared to 34.6% in the control group (P = .87). Six patients developed hypoglycemia in the intervention group, compared with 7 in the control group (P = .83). There was no difference in length of hospitalization (P = .86). Regardless of treatment assignment, patients receiving intermediate-acting insulin (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.2-6.5), those with blood glucose values greater than 250 mg/dL at baseline (OR, 6.3; 95% CI, 2.3 - 17.2) and those receiving corticosteroids (OR, 9.1; 95% CI, 3.1 - 27.0) were more likely to have glycemic events. CONCLUSIONS: The use of the sliding scale insulin regimen in combination with routine diabetes medications does not affect the rate of hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia or length of hospitalization in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus hospitalized for other conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Family Practice