Diabetes mellitus is a complex chronic disease with multiple co-morbidities. Diabetes is frequently present in hospital admissions, with a prevalence of 11% to 25%. In-hospital hyperglycaemia is associated with worse patient outcomes and longer length of stay. Robust evidence shows that optimising glycaemia in hospitalised patients reduced mortality, infection rates, improved outcomes after myocardial infarction and stroke, decreased hospital length of stay and healthcare costs. Achieving optimal glucose levels in hospital for people with people is a target supported by national and international bodies.
The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) and the Australian Diabetes Society (ADS) have produced guidelines for in-hospital glucose management, emphasising treatment pathways. Nutrition plays a critical role in blood glucose management and the successful treatment of all inpatients with diabetes. To support optimisation of in-hospital glucose management, the NDSS/ADS sought evidence- and expert-opinion based guidelines on in-hospital nutrition for people with diabetes.
Working Party members included nominees from several specialist societies (ADS, ADEA, DAA). Outcomes were: (i) review of international in-hospital diabetes nutrition guidelines; (ii) review of the literature on diabetes in-hospital diet; (iii) formation of national guidelines based on evidence, expert opinion and best practice in food safety, logistics and service; (iv) development of a patient education brochure given at admission to guide patient food choices during hospitalisation; and (v) development of a patient education discharge brochure to guide food choices after hospital admission.
The guidelines and patient education resources will be presented.