Elevated blood sugar levels in adults with asthma may help physicians identify patients at risk for emergency care

A physician looks at clipboard in the hallway of a hospital.

Researchers found a connection between A1c, a three-month measure of blood-sugar control, and asthma-related hospitalizations among British adults with asthma but without a diabetes diagnosis. The review published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice and was supported by the NHLBI.

The researchers surveyed 47,606 adults, ages 40-69, with asthma but without a diabetes diagnosis. They assessed connections among A1c, a marker for diabetes risk, lung function, measured by breathing tests, and asthma-related hospitalizations. The researchers adjusted for several variables, including age, biological sex, clinical markers of inflammation, smoking, and body weight. They found patients with elevated blood sugar levels were more likely to have had asthma-associated hospitalizations. A weaker association was observed for A1c and lung function. The authors suggest the study findings could help clinicians monitor patients who may have an increased risk for asthma-related hospitalizations.