Glucometabolic changes influence hospitalization and outcome in patients with COVID-19: An observational cohort study

Clara L. Clausen*, Christian Leo-Hansen, Daniel Faurholt-Jepsen, Rikke Krogh-Madsen, Christian Ritz, Ole Kirk, Henrik L. Jørgensen, Thomas Benfield, Thomas P. Almdal, Ole Snorgaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Aims: The aim was to report the prevalence of diabetes status in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and assess the association between the glucometabolic status at admission and 90-day mortality. Methods: Consecutive patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were included in the study. All participants included had an HbA1c measurement 60 days prior to or within 7 days after admission. We studied the association between diabetes status, the glycemic gap (difference between admission and habitual status), admission plasma-glucose, and mortality using Cox proportional hazards regression. Results: Of 674 patients included, 114 (17%) had normal glucose level, 287 (43%) had pre-diabetes, 74 (11%) had new-onset, and 199 (30%) had diagnosed diabetes. No association between diabetes status, plasma-glucose at admission, and mortality was found. Compared to the 2nd quartile (reference) of glycemic-gap, those with the highest glycemic gap had increased mortality (3rd (HR 2.38 [1.29–4.38], p = 0.005) and 4th quartile (HR 2.48 [1.37–4.52], p = 0.002). Conclusion: Abnormal glucose metabolism was highly prevalent among patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Diabetes status per se or admission plasma-glucose was not associated with a poorer outcome. However, a high glycemic gap was associated with increased risk of mortality, suggesting that, irrespective of diabetes status, glycemic stress serves as an important prognostic marker for mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109880
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Glucometabolic changes
  • Glycemic gap
  • Hospitalization
  • Mortality


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