Severe infections rising among Americans with diabetes

Severe infections rising among americans with diabetes
(HealthDay)—The number of Americans with diabetes who wind up in hospitals with serious infections, or who develop them while in the hospital, is on the rise.

Between 2010 and 2015, the number of diabetics hospitalized for infections rose 52 percent (from 16 per 1,000 people to 24 per 1,000), according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"People with are more susceptible to in-hospital infections as compared with people without diabetes, and this risk is increasing," said lead researcher Jessica Harding, from the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation.

"The most common types in people with and without diabetes were respiratory tract and ," Harding said. But the rates of infection were seven times higher in people with diabetes, she added.

The rise in overall infections is largely driven by increases in patients who develop sepsis while in the hospital, Harding said. "However, we also see in people with diabetes an increase in foot ulcers, coinciding with an increase in lower limb amputations," she added.

Dr. Louis Philipson, director of the University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center, said it isn't clear why diabetics develop more infections.

"We do not even have data as to whether the infections occurred in people with more poorly controlled diabetes, though that seems like a reasonable guess," said Philipson, who is also president-elect for medicine and science at the American Diabetes Association.

High blood sugar decreases the activity of the immune system and can cause many changes in tissue, skin and blood flow, all of which can increase the risk of infections, Philipson said.

"Exactly which factors are most important here, and whether access to health care played a role, we do not know yet," he added.

Urinary tract, skin and connective tissue infections are associated with high and poorly controlled diabetes, Philipson explained. Preventing diabetes and reaching the optimum targets for blood sugar control are key to reducing infections.

"Along with that, regular visits to a primary care doctor and specialist as needed to get the best foot care, eye care and review of kidney function will go a long way towards preventing complications of diabetes," Philipson said.

For the study, Harding and her colleagues used national hospitalization data from 2000 to 2015. The data captured about 20 percent of all hospitalizations in 46 states, representing more than 96 percent of the U.S. population.

The investigators found that people with diabetes are about two to seven times more likely to be hospitalized with an than the general population.

"Improved access to preventive care, as well as promoting education to reduce risk factors for underlying disease processes, will be essential to decrease the risk of infections in people with diabetes," Harding said.

Dr. Joel Zonszein directs the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. He said it's concerning that the majority of patients with diabetes are not treated properly, since levels predispose them to infections.

"We have proper ways to treat diabetes, and there should be no excuse why patients shouldn't be getting the best care," he said. "More research is not needed—more effective treatment is imperative."

The results of the study were scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, in Berlin. Research presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.


Explore further

Poor diabetes control can lead to increased risk of serious infections, study shows

More information: Visit the American Diabetes Association for more on type 2 diabetes.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Citation: Severe infections rising among Americans with diabetes (2018, October 3) retrieved 19 February 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-10-severe-infections-americans-diabetes.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
5 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Oct 04, 2018
All ideas express in this article very relevant.It is true that hyperglycemia increases the risk of infection. Because, in an old diabetes, whenever the sugar exceeds a certain limit the plates formed by the previous ones on the skin, on the brain, on the endothelium are covered with lesion. these injuries are often microscopic. These lesions can easily become infected. This risk could be almost nil if signs of cutaneous hyperkeratosis, signs of psoriasis or simply dry skin are treated preventively, in order to reduce the amount of immature keratinocytes, in order to maintain elasticity of the endotheliums and to ensure a high availability of mature keratinocytes (keratinocytes loaded with keratohyalin and which have their migration over a minimum period of 20 days) at all levels of our nervous system. The treatment is simple easy and very safe

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more