BACKGROUND: Several studies have shown that people with diabetes are vulnerable to infection. This study compared the risk of infection-related hospitalizations, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and deaths between the person with diabetes and the general population in South Korea.
METHODS: We conducted a cohort study of 66,426 diabetes and 132,852 age-sex-region-matched non-diabetes controls from the general population using a sample of data from the National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort. The cohort was followed up for 9 years. Infections were classified into 17 separate categories. We used Poisson regression, with adjustment for household income and other comorbidities, to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) in order to compare of infection-related hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths.
RESULTS: Compared to non-diabetes controls, diabetes group had a greater risk of almost all the types of infections considered, with the adjusted IRRs (aIRRs) for infection-related hospitalizations being the highest for hepatic abscess (aIRR, 10.17; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.04 to 14.67), central nervous system (CNS) infections (aIRR, 8.72; 95% CI, 6.64 to 11.45), and skin and soft tissue infections other than cellulitis (SSTIs) (aIRR, 3.52; 95% CI, 3.20 to 3.88). Diabetes group also had a greater risk of ICU admission and death due to SSTIs (aIRR, 11.75; 95% CI, 7.32 to 18.86), CNS infections (aIRR, 5.25; 95% CI, 3.53 to 7.79), and bone and joint infections (aIRR, 4.78; 95% CI, 3.09 to 7.39).
CONCLUSION: In South Korea, people with diabetes has a considerably higher incidence of infection-related hospitalizations and deaths than the general population.
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