Objective

The ideal inpatient insulin regimen efficiently attains the target blood glucose range, effectively treats hyperglycemia, and minimizes the risk of hypoglycemia. The objective of this study was to compare glycemic targets achieved by using correctional monotherapy (CM) and basal-bolus therapy (BBT) in insulin-naive patients in the inpatient setting to determine optimal blood glucose management for these patients.

Design

This was a retrospective observational cohort study of 792 patients with diabetes not on home insulin therapy who were admitted to an academic hospital over a 5.5-month period. The percentage of hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic values in each group were compared.

Results

Among the 3,112 measured blood glucose values obtained from 792 patients within the first 24 hours of insulin administration, 28.5% were hyperglycemic in the BBT group compared with 23.5% in the CM group. When adjusted for covariates, there was a 23% decrease in hyperglycemia in the BBT group (incidence rate ratio = 0.77, 95% CI 0.64–0.95, P = 0.006). Increases in A1C and admission blood glucose, as well as decreases in admission creatinine and inpatient steroid use, were independently associated with higher rates of hyperglycemia, adjusted for all other covariates. There was no significant difference between the groups in the rate of hypoglycemia in the first 24 hours, which was 1.9% in the BBT group and 1.4% in the CM group (P = 0.301).

Conclusion

Utilizing BBT in insulin-naive patients admitted to the hospital within the first 24 hours of insulin administration results in lower rates of hyperglycemia without higher rates of hypoglycemia when compared with CM.

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