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Background-: The relationship between admission glucose levels and outcomes in older diabetic and nondiabetic patients with acute myocardial infarction is not well defined.

Methods and Results-: We evaluated a national sample of elderly patients (n=141 680) hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction from 1994 to 1996. Admission glucose was analyzed as a categorical (<=110, >110 to 140, >140 to 170, >170 to 240, >240 mg/dL) and continuous variable for its association with mortality in patients with and without recognized diabetes. A substantial proportion of hyperglycemic patients (eg, 26% of those with glucose >240 mg/dL) did not have recognized diabetes. Fewer hyperglycemic patients without known diabetes received insulin during hospitalization than diabetics with similar glucose levels (eg, glucose >240 mg/dL, 22% versus 73%; P<0.001). Higher glucose levels were associated with greater risk of 30-day mortality in patients without known diabetes (for glucose range from <=110 to >240 mg/dL, 10% to 39%) compared with diabetics (range, 16% to 24%; P for interaction <0.001). After multivariable adjustment, higher glucose levels continued to be associated with a graded increase in 30-day mortality in patients without known diabetes (referent, glucose <=110 mg/dL; range from glucose >110 to 140 mg/dL: hazard ratio [HR], 1.17; 95% CI, 1.11 to 1.24; to glucose >240 mg/dL: HR, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.75 to 2.00). In contrast, among diabetic patients, greater mortality risk was observed only in those with glucose >240 mg/dL (HR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.17 to 1.50 versus glucose <=110 mg/dL; P for interaction <0.001). One-year mortality results were similar.

Conclusions-: Elevated glucose is common, rarely treated, and associated with increased mortality risk in elderly acute myocardial infarction patients, particularly those without recognized diabetes.

(C) 2005 American Heart Association, Inc.