Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Aim: In-hospital blood glucose testing is commonplace, particularly in acute care. In-hospital screening for hyperglycaemia may present a valuable opportunity for early diabetes diagnosis by identifying at-risk individuals. This systematic review investigates the extent to which random blood glucose testing in acute and inpatient hospital settings predicts undiagnosed diabetes. Methods: Two databases were systematically searched for studies in which adult patients received an in-hospital random blood glucose test, followed by a diagnostic HbA1c test. The primary outcome was the proportion of hyperglycaemic individuals diagnosed with diabetes by HbA1c. Results: A total of 3245 unique citations were identified, and 12 were eligible for inclusion. Ten different blood glucose thresholds, ranging from 5.5 to 11.1 mmol/L, were used to detect hyperglycaemia, indicating that there is no consistent clinical definition for hyperglycaemia. The proportion of participants with hyperglycaemia in each study ranged from 3.3% to 62.1%, with a median (Q1, Q3) of 34.5% (5.95%, 61.1%). The proportion of hyperglycaemic participants found to have a diabetes-range HbA1c varied from 4.1% to 90%, with a median (Q1, Q3) of 18.9% (11.5%, 61.1%). Meta-analysis was not possible due to substantial heterogeneity between study protocols. Conclusions: All studies consistently identified a proportion of hyperglycaemic hospital patients as having a diabetes-range HbA1c, showing that in-hospital blood glucose screening can facilitate diabetes diagnosis. The proportion of hyperglycaemic participants with undiagnosed diabetes varied substantially, indicating a need for further research and consistency in defining in-hospital hyperglycaemia. This may aid the development of a standardised screening protocol to identify people with possible undiagnosed diabetes.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetic Medicine

Publication Date