Volume 89, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Data from a prospective study of 3,319 children ages 2 months to 5 years admitted with febrile illness to a Tanzanian district hospital were analyzed to determine the relationship of blood glucose and mortality. Hypoglycemia (blood sugar < 2.5 mmol/L and < 45 mg/dL) was found in 105 of 3,319 (3.2%) children at admission, and low-normal blood glucose (2.5–5 mmol/L and 45–90 mg/dL) was found in 773 of 3,319 (23.3%) children. Mortality was inversely related to admission blood sugar; compared with children with an admission blood glucose of > 5 mmol/L, the adjusted odds of dying were 3.3 (95% confidence interval = 2.1–5.2) and 9.8 (95% confidence interval = 5.1–19.0) among children with admission blood glucose 2.5–5 and < 2.5 mmol/L, respectively. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis suggested an optimal cutoff for admission blood sugar of < 5 mmol/L in predicting mortality (sensitivity = 57.7%, specificity = 75.2%). A cutoff for admission blood glucose of < 5 mmol/L represents a simple and clinically useful predictor of mortality in children admitted with severe febrile illness to hospital in resource-poor settings.

[open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's Re-use License which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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  • Received : 10 Jan 2013
  • Accepted : 20 May 2013
  • Published online : 07 Aug 2013

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