Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved research

Hyperglycaemia and the risk of postoperative complications after major surgery

Principal Investigator: Mr Stephen Lam
Approved Research ID: 59814
Approval date: August 19th 2020

Lay summary

Having high levels of sugar in the blood is a sign of diabetes. There is some evidence that patients with high blood sugar levels before major surgery have an increased risk of post-surgery complications including; infections, kidney failure, heart attacks, longer lengths of hospital stay, and higher rates of death. The risk of complications is particularly high in patients without a diagnosis of diabetes, but with high blood sugar levels (discovered before surgery). Because previous research is limited, we need further evidence to support the routine use of medication to lower blood sugar levels before surgery. We plan to use the UK Biobank to determine whether blood sugar is indeed a risk factor for post-surgery complications. We want to use the large amount of patient data collected by the UK Biobank, including genetic information, to study how blood sugar levels effect the risk of complications after surgery. We hope to show that blood sugar should be measured in all patients having major surgery and could be lowered with medication (if it is high) to improve outcomes for surgical patients.