Diabetes and the risk of hospitalisation for infection: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study

Michael Fang, Junichi Ishigami, Justin B. Echouffo-Tcheugui, Pamela L. Lutsey, James S. Pankow, Elizabeth Selvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: The aim of this work was to assess the association between diabetes and risk for infection-related hospitalisation and mortality.

METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort analysis of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Diabetes was defined as a fasting glucose ≥7 mmol/l or non-fasting glucose ≥11.1 mmol/l, self-report of a diagnosis of diabetes by a physician, or current diabetes medication use. Hospitalisation for infection was ascertained from hospital discharge records. Participants were followed from 1987-1989 to 2019.

RESULTS: We included 12,379 participants (mean age 54.5 years; 24.7% Black race; 54.3% female sex). During a median follow-up of 23.8 years, there were 4229 new hospitalisations for infection. After adjusting for potential confounders, people with (vs without) diabetes at baseline had a higher risk for hospitalisation for infection (HR 1.67 [95% CI 1.52, 1.83]). Results were generally consistent across infection type but the association was especially pronounced for foot infection (HR 5.99 [95% CI 4.38, 8.19]). Diabetes was more strongly associated with hospitalisation for infection in younger participants and Black people. Overall infection mortality was low (362 deaths due to infection) but the adjusted risk was increased for people with diabetes (HR 1.72 [95% CI 1.28, 2.31]).

CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Diabetes confers significant risk for infection-related hospitalisation. Enhancing prevention and early treatment of infection in those with diabetes is needed to reduce infection-related morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetologia
Volume64
Issue number11
Early online dateAug 4 2021
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - Aug 4 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
MF is supported by National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute grant T32 HL007024. ES is supported by National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute grant K24 HL152440 and National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases grant R01 DK089174. JBE-T is supported by National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute grant K23 HL153774. The ARIC study has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract nos HHSN268201700001I, HHSN268201700002I, HHSN268201700003I, HHSN268201700005I, HHSN268201700004I. The study sponsors/funders were not involved in the design of the study, the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, writing the report, and the decision to submit the paper for publication, and did not impose any restrictions regarding the publication of the report.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Diabetic complications
  • Disparities
  • Infection hospitalisation
  • Infection mortality
  • Longitudinal analyses

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