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J Diabetes Complications. 2015 Nov-Dec;29(8):1130-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2015.08.010. Epub 2015 Aug 15.

Impact of diabetes mellitus and its complications: survival and quality-of-life in critically ill patients.

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Friedrich-Schiller-University, Clinic of Internal Medicine I, Jena, Germany.
University Clinic of Internal Medicine II, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria.
Friedrich-Schiller-University, Clinic of Internal Medicine I, Jena, Germany. Electronic address:



Diabetes mellitus represents an increasing problem for patients and health care systems worldwide. We sought to investigate the effect of diabetes and its associated comorbidities on long-term survival and quality of life following an admission to a medical intensive care unit (ICU).


A total of 6662 consecutive patients admitted to ICU between 2004 and 2009 were included (patients with diabetes n=796, non-diabetic patients n=5866). The primary endpoint of the study was death of any cause. Data on mortality was collected upon review of medical records or phone interviews. Moreover, a questionnaire was sent to 500 randomly selected patients addressing Health related Quality of Life (HrQoL) after ICU treatment.


Overall mortality did not differ significantly between diabetic and non-diabetic patients after ICU treatment (mean follow-up time: 490 days). For a subgroup of patients already exhibiting comorbidities associated with diabetes, the mortality rate was significantly higher (p=0.022). Regarding quality of life, no differences were found between groups.


Diabetes was not associated with increased mortality or reduced quality of life in a general population of medical ICU patients. However, once comorbidities associated with diabetes occurred, the survival rate of patients with comorbidities associated with hyperglycemia was significantly reduced.


Critically ill; Diabetes mellitus; Follow-up; Intensive care; Quality of life

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