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Insulin testing may be particularly important for elderly individuals who are admitted to hospitals, as a new study has found that many older individuals who seek care have undiagnosed diabetes, which makes them more likely to die while they are in the hospital.
Researchers from the Hospital Ramon y Cajal in Madrid, Spain, tested the blood sugar levels of more than 808 patients over the age of 60 who were taken to a hospital. They then tracked the participants' medical records for the tenure of their stay.
When the individuals who had already tested positive for diabetes were excluded, the researchers found that 25 percent of the participants had undiagnosed diabetes. Furthermore, these patients were much more likely to die during the course of treatment.
The death rate for patients with undiagnosed diabetes was between 18 and 31 percent depending on how high their blood sugar levels were. The death rate of participants with normal blood sugar levels was just 8 percent. Individuals who already had been diagnosed with diabetes had a death rate of between 14 and 23 percent.
The researchers said that their findings plainly show that hospitals should be giving diabetes tests to all elderly patients that they admit.
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