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Stroke. 2001 Oct;32(10):2426-32.

Stress hyperglycemia and prognosis of stroke in nondiabetic and diabetic patients: a systematic overview.

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Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.



"Stress" hyperglycemia may be associated with increased mortality and poor recovery in diabetic and nondiabetic patients after stroke. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature relating acute poststroke glucose levels to the subsequent course were done to summarize and quantify this relationship.


A comprehensive literature search was done for cohort studies reporting mortality and/or functional recovery after stroke in relation to admission glucose level. Relative risks in hyperglycemic compared with normoglycemic patients with and without diabetes were calculated and meta-analyzed when possible.


Thirty-two studies were identified; relative risks for prespecified outcomes were reported or could be calculated in 26 studies. After stroke of either subtype (ischemic or hemorrhagic), the unadjusted relative risk of in-hospital or 30-day mortality associated with admission glucose level >6 to 8 mmol/L (108 to 144 mg/dL) was 3.07 (95% CI, 2.50 to 3.79) in nondiabetic patients and 1.30 (95% CI, 0.49 to 3.43) in diabetic patients. After ischemic stroke, admission glucose level >6.1 to 7.0 mmol/L (110 to 126 mg/dL) was associated with increased risk of in-hospital or 30-day mortality in nondiabetic patients only (relative risk=3.28; 95% CI, 2.32 to 4.64). After hemorrhagic stroke, admission hyperglycemia was not associated with higher mortality in either diabetic or nondiabetic patients. Nondiabetic stroke survivors whose admission glucose level was >6.7 to 8 mmol/L (121 to 144 mg/dL) also had a greater risk of poor functional recovery (relative risk=1.41; 95% CI, 1.16 to 1.73).


Acute hyperglycemia predicts increased risk of in-hospital mortality after ischemic stroke in nondiabetic patients and increased risk of poor functional recovery in nondiabetic stroke survivors.

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