Patients with Diabetes More Likely to be Hospitalized for Infection

Although the past two decades have shown declines in vascular complications for patients with diabetes, the prevalence of serious infections requiring hospitalization is unknown. A study compared the trend of infections requiring hospitalization between patients with and without diabetes over a 15-year period.

The National Inpatient Sample and National Health Interview Surveys spanning 2000 to 2015 were used to estimate rates of infections necessitating hospitalizations in adults aged 18 years and older with and without diabetes. The researchers stratified annual age-standardized and -specific hospitalizations in groups with and without diabetes based on infection type. Joinpoint regression was used to evaluate trends and report the annual percentage change (Δ%/year).

At the end of the study period, adults with diabetes were nearly four times as likely as those without diabetes to be hospitalized for infection (rate ratio, 3.8); depending on the type of infection, hospitalization rates were as much as 15.7 times as high for diabetic adults compared with those without diabetes. Over the course of the study, infection rates increased in both groups: In adults with diabetes, the rate increased from 63.1 per 1,000 persons to 68.7 per 1,000 persons, and in those without diabetes, the rate increased from 15.5 per 1,000 persons to 16.3 per 1,000 persons. From 2008 to the end of the study, hospitalization rates among adults without diabetes decreased 7.9% from 17.7 per 1,000 persons to 16.3 per 1,000 persons (Δ%/year, –1.5; P<0.01), but adults with diabetes did not see a significant decline, which the researchers attributed to significant increases in foot infections and cellulitis and no declines in pneumonia and postoperative wound infections among young adults with diabetes.