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Risk of infection in people with and without diabetes

By Colin Kenny, Editor – Diabetes Distilled


In this retrospective cohort study, 102,493 English primary care patients diagnosed with diabetes and aged 40–89 years (type 1 diabetes, n=5863; type 2 diabetes, n=96,630) were matched with 203,518 age-, sex- and practice-matched controls without diabetes. Infection rates during the period 2008–2015, compiled from primary care and linked hospital and mortality records, were compared across 19 individual infection categories. These were further categorised as any requiring a prescription or hospitalisation or as a cause of death.

Compared with control individuals without diabetes, people with diabetes had higher rates for all infections, with the highest incidences of infection seen for bone and joint infections, sepsis and cellulitis. A direct comparison of types confirmed higher adjusted risks for type 1 diabetes versus type 2 diabetes. The investigators estimated that 6% of infection-related hospitalisations and 12% of infection-related deaths were attributable to diabetes.


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