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Diabetes Care. 2008 Aug;31(8):1556-61. doi: 10.2337/dc07-2456. Epub 2008 May 20.

Economic benefits of intensive insulin therapy in critically Ill patients: the targeted insulin therapy to improve hospital outcomes (TRIUMPH) project.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.



The purpose of this study was to analyze the economic outcomes of a clinical program implemented to achieve strict glycemic control with intensive insulin therapy in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).


A difference-in-differences (quasi-experimental) study design was used to examine the associations of an intensive insulin therapy intervention with changes in hospital length of stay (ICU and total), costs (ICU and total), and mortality. Hospital administrative data were obtained for 6,719 adult patients admitted between 2003 and 2005 to one of five intervention or four comparison ICUs in a large academic medical center. Linear regression models with log transformations and appropriate retransformations were used to estimate length of stay (LOS) and costs; logistic regressions were used to estimate mortality.


After adjustment for observable patient characteristics and secular time trends, the intervention was consistently associated with lower average glucose levels and a trend toward shorter LOS, lower costs, and lower mortality. However, associations with resource use and outcomes were statistically significant in only ICU LOS, with an average reduction of 1.19 days of ICU care per admission. Other associations, although large in magnitude and in the hypothesized directions, were not estimated with sufficient precision to rule out other net effects. The associations with ICU days and costs were larger in magnitude than total days and costs.


A clinical team focused on hyperglycemia management for ICU patients can be a valuable investment with significant economic benefits for hospitals.

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