Background: Among patients with diabetes who had been hospitalized, 30% had twice or more hospitalisations rate, accounting for more than 50% of total hospitalizations and hospitalization expense. The purpose of our study was to to find available strategies to reduce the readmission rate of diabetics in rural areas.
Methods: This retrospective single-center study used the data from Yongchuan Hospital of Chongqing Medical University. The t-test and the chi-square test or Fisher's exact test were used to compare continuous and categorical variables, respectively. We used the Spearman correlation coefficient to examine the relationship between variables. Multiple linear regression was performed to analyze the influencing factors of hospitalisation time, and dummy variables were set for categorical independent variables.
Results: There were a total of 1721 readmissions during a five-year period; among them, 829 were females and 892 males. The readmission rate of diabetic patients in the endocrinology department was 32.40%. The age, times of hospitalisation, and duration of all subjects were 64.67 ± 13.82, 2.69 ± 1.41 and 10.60 ± 6.78, respectively. Among all the diabetic patients, type 2 diabetes accounted for 98.55% (n = 1696). Most of the patients were readmitted due to poor glycemic control, infection, edema, dizziness, and weakness, accounting for approximately 56%. During the 5-year period, the majority of readmitted diabetic patients were hospitalized twice. Times of hospitalisation was weakly positively correlated with age (Rho = 0.206, P≤0.001), diabetic duration (Rho = 0.248, P ≤ 0.001) and hospitalisation expenses (Rho = 0.008, P = 0.035) by Spearman correlation analysis. Age, duration of diabetes, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were the main factors affecting times of hospitalisation in diabetes patients (all P < 0.05). Compared with current smokers, non-smokers and cessation smokers had high hospitalisations rate (all P for trend < 0.05). When taking diabetic foot infection as a reference, edema was more accountable than diabetic foot infection for hospitalisation times, which was statistically significant (P for trend = 0.048).
Conclusion: Age, duration of diabetes and hospitalisation costs were positively correlated with times of hospitalisation. Age, duration of diabetes, blood pressure, ALT, smoking status and edema are the influencing factors of hospitalisation times. The most common causes of hospitalisation for diabetics are poor glycemic control, infection, edema, dizziness, and weakness. Controlling these factors may be key to developing rational health strategies for rural diabetics.