Does Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Increase Postoperative Complications in Patients Submitted to Cardiovascular Surgeries?

Objective: To compare the incidence of postoperative complications (PC) between diabetic and nondiabetic patients undergoing cardiovascular surgeries (CS).

Methods: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study, based on the analysis of 288 medical records. Patients aged ≥ 18 years, admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) between January 2012 and January 2013, and undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or vascular surgeries were included. The population was divided into those with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and then it was evaluated the incidence of PC between the groups.

Results: The sample included 288 patients, most of them being elderly (67 [60-75] years old) male (64%) subjects. Regarding to surgical procedures, 60.4% of them were undergoing vascular surgeries and 39.6% were in the postoperative period of CABG. The incidence of T2DM in this population was 40% (115), just behind hypertension, with 72% (208). Other risk factors were also observed, such as smoking in 95 (33%) patients, dyslipidemias in 54 (19%) patients, and previous myocardial infarction in 55 (19%) patients. No significant difference in relation to PC (bleeding, atrial fibrillation, cardiorespiratory arrest, and respiratory complications) between the groups was observed (P>0.05).

Conclusion: T2DM has a high incidence rate in the population of critically ill patients submitted to CS, especially in the elderly. However, in this small retrospectively analyzed study, there was no significant increase in PC related to diabetes for patients undergoing CS.