In the Journals Plus

Infection risks may increase with type 1 diabetes

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January 22, 2018

Compared with the general public, people with diabetes — and type 1 diabetes, in particular — have increased risks for serious infections, according to findings published in Diabetes Care.

Iain M. Carey, PhD, of the Population Health Research Institute at St George’s University of London, and colleagues evaluated data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink on 102,493 English primary care patients aged 40 to 89 years with a diabetes diagnosis by 2008 (type 1 diabetes, n = 5,863; type 2 diabetes, n = 96,630) and 203,518 age-, sex- and practice-matched controls without diabetes to determine the burden of infection among them. Mean follow-up was 5.5 years.

More participants with type 2 diabetes had at least one infection accompanied by a prescription compared with controls (56.9% vs. 46.2%); results were similar for participants with type 1 diabetes vs. controls (55% vs. 41.3%). Hospitalization for infections also occurred in more participants with type 2 diabetes than controls (15.7% vs. 9.8%) and participants with type 1 diabetes than controls (14.6% vs. 5.4%).

Incidence rate ratios for infections were overall higher for type 1 diabetes compared with controls, especially for bone and joint infections, endocarditis and sepsis. Bone and joint infections, sepsis and cellulitis exhibited the greatest disparities between participants with type 2 diabetes and controls.

Participants with type 1 diabetes had higher incident rate ratios for infections requiring hospitalization compared with participants with type 2 diabetes (3.71 vs. 1.88).

Researchers estimated that 6% of infection-related hospitalizations and 12% of infection-related deaths could be attributed to diabetes.

“Future research should explore both education and management strategies with both patients and their caregivers to lessen this, such as whether improvements in glycemic control can reduce the risk of developing severe infections and poor treatment outcomes,” they wrote. – by Amber Cox

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.