Molecular mechanisms of hyperglycemia and cardiovascular-related events in critically ill patients: rationale for the clinical benefits of insulin therapy
Paragon Cardiovascular Foundation, Falls Church, VA, USA
Abstract: Newly recognized hyperglycemia frequently occurs with acute medical illness, especially among patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Hyperglycemia has been linked to increased morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients, especially when it is newly recognized. Increased rates of reinfarction, rehospitalization, major cardiovascular events, and death in CVD patients have also been found. An expanding body of literature describes the benefits of normalizing hyperglycemia with insulin therapy in hospitalized patients. This article reviews several underlying mechanisms thought to be responsible for the association between hyperglycemia and poor outcomes in critically ill patients and those with cardiovascular events, as well as the biologic rationale for the benefits of insulin therapy in these patients.
Keywords: hyperglycemia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, critical illness, insulin
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