Hypoglycemic risk exposures in relation to low serum glucose values in ambulatory patients

Mohammed S. Abusamaan, Mark A. Marzinke, Aditya Ashok, Karen Carroll, Kyrstin Lane, Rebecca Jeun, Kendall F. Moseley, Kathryn A. Carson, Nestoras N. Mathioudakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study aimed to correlate hypoglycemic risk exposures (HREs) with low blood glucose value (BGV) in ambulatory patients to inform selection of a glucose critical action value (CAV).This was a retrospective study of ambulatory patients with at least 1 serum glucose ≤70 mg/dL obtained at 2 laboratories within the Johns Hopkins Health System over 3.8 years. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate association of BGV cut-offs of <60, <54, <50, and <45 mg/dL with HREs. HREs were classified as "high hypoglycemic risk" (HHR), "moderate hypoglycemic risk" (MHR), "low hypoglycemic risk" (LHR), and "no hypoglycemic risk" (NHR).A total of 5404 patient samples of BG ≤70 mg/dL were analyzed, of which 30.3%, 23.2%, 28.5%, 18.0% occurred in NHR, LHR, MHR, and HHR groups, respectively. An inverse relationship was noted between BGV cut-offs and HHR, but no association was observed for LHR or MHR. After adjusting for age, sex, and race, there was an inverse association between BG thresholds and the odds of HHR. For classification of HHR, BGV cut-offs of <60, <54, <50, and <45 mg/dL correctly classified 71.2%, 69.8%, 68.8%, and 67.2% of BG samples, achieved false-positive rates of 13.6%, 4.7%, 1.7%, and 0.5% and positive likelihood ratios of 3.3, 6.0, 11.2, and 23.4, respectively.Nearly 70% of low BGVs occurred in patients with at least 1 HRE, but only ∼20% occurred in HHR patients. Given their high positive likelihood ratios, BGVs <54 or <50 mg/dL are reasonable candidates for CAVs that would allow sufficient clinician response time while minimizing false-positive alerts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere18679
JournalMedicine (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • ambulatory
  • critical action value
  • glucose
  • hypoglycemia
  • laboratory
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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