BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Hyperglycemia in the acute phase of stroke is associated with poor outcome. Whether hyperglycemia in nondiabetic stroke patients is caused by stress is controversial. METHODS: We studied glucose levels and glycosylated hemoglobin in 91 consecutive patients with acute stroke admitted within 24 hours after onset of symptoms. In 27 unselected patients we also measured catecholamines on days 1 and 3 after onset. RESULTS: Hyperglycemia was found in 39 (43%) of the patients, 55% of whom either had diabetes mellitus or latent diabetes; the others had idiopathic hyperglycemia. Norepinephrine levels were associated with the severity of the stroke (P = .005) and with hypertension (P = .03) but not with glucose levels, irrespective of whether or not the patients had diabetes. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that hyperglycemia in the acute phase of stroke cannot be explained by increased stress.
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