Relative Hypoglycemia and Lower Hemoglobin A1c-Adjusted Time in Band Are Strongly Associated With Increased Mortality in Critically Ill Patients

James S. Krinsley, Peter R. Rule, Gregory W. Roberts, Michael Brownlee, Jean-Charles Preiser, Sherose Chaudry, Krista D. Dionne, Camilla Heluey, Guillermo E. Umpierrez, Irl B. Hirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To determine the associations of relative hypoglycemia and hemoglobin A1c-adjusted time in blood glucose (BG) band (HA-TIB) with mortality in critically ill patients. 

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort investigation.

SETTING: University-affiliated adult medical-surgical ICU. 

PATIENTS: Three thousand six hundred fifty-five patients with at least four BG tests and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level admitted between September 14, 2014, and November 30, 2019. 


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Patients were stratified for HbA1c bands of <6.5%; 6.5-7.9%; greater than or equal to 8.0% with optimal affiliated glucose target ranges of 70-140, 140-180, and 180-250 mg/dL, respectively. HA-TIB, a new glycemic metric, defined the HbA1c-adjusted time in band. Relative hypoglycemia was defined as BG 70-110 mg/dL for patients with HbA1c ≥ 8.0%. Further stratification included diabetes status-no diabetes (NO-DM, n = 2,616) and preadmission treatment with or without insulin (DM-INS, n = 352; DM-No-INS, n = 687, respectively). Severity-adjusted mortality was calculated as the observed:expected mortality ratio (O:EMR), using the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation IV prediction of mortality. Among NO-DM, mortality and O:EMR, decreased with higher TIB 70-140 mg/dL (p < 0.0001) and were lowest with TIB 90-100%. O:EMR was lower for HA-TIB greater than or equal to 50% than less than 50% and among all DM-No-INS but for DM-INS only those with HbA1 greater than or equal to 8.0%.Among all patients with hba1c greater than or equal to 8.0% And no bg less than 70 mg/dl, mortality was 18.0% For patients with relative hypoglycemia (bg, 70-110 mg/dl) (p < 0.0001) And was 0.0%, 12.9%, 13.0%, And 34.8% For patients with 0, 0.1-2.9, 3.0-11.9, And greater than or equal to 12.0 Hours of relative hypoglycemia (p < 0.0001). 

CONCLUSIONS: These findings have considerable bearing on interpretation of previous trials of intensive insulin therapy in the critically ill. Moreover, they suggest that BG values in the 70-110 range may be deleterious for patients with HbA1c greater than or equal to 8.0% and that the appropriate target for BG should be individualized to HbA1c levels. These conclusions need to be tested in randomized trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e664-e673
Number of pages10
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • critically ill patients
  • diabetes
  • hemoglobin A1c
  • mortality
  • relative hypoglycemia
  • time in band


Dive into the research topics of 'Relative Hypoglycemia and Lower Hemoglobin A1c-Adjusted Time in Band Are Strongly Associated With Increased Mortality in Critically Ill Patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this