Diabetes Tied to Incidence of Conjuctivitis

HealthDay News — Diabetes is associated with increased incidence of conjunctivitis, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Abdus Samad Ansari, from the University of Surrey in Guildford, United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a 2-stranded study to examine whether infectious disease affecting the external eye and surrounding structures is associated with diabetes. They measured the incidence of infections over 6 years in a whole population cohort study to examine the frequency of eye infections in those with vs without diabetes, and in a cohort study in a population with diabetes to examine the impact of glycemic control on eye infection rates. The total population was 938,440 individuals without diabetes and 48,584 individuals with diabetes (3,273 with type 1 diabetes and 45,311 with type 2 diabetes).

The researchers found that type 1 and type 2 diabetes correlated with significantly increased incidence of conjunctivitis after adjustment for confounders and amendment of P values for multiple comparisons using the Bonferroni and Sidak corrections (odds ratio [ORs]:, 1.61 and 1.11, respectively). There were no correlations with blepharitis, stye/chalazion, periorbital cellulitis, keratitis/keratoconjunctivitis, lacrimal gland infection, or endophthalmitis. 

There was no correlation for glycemic control with any infection. Diabetes also correlated with significantly increased incidence of antimicrobial prescriptions (ORs: 1.69 and 1.17 for type 1 and 2 diabetes, respectively).

“We found that conjunctivitis occurs more frequently in people with diabetes,” the researchers wrote.

Disclosures: Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical technology, and medical device industries.

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  1. Ansar AS, de Lusignan S, Arrowsmith B, Hinton W, Munro N, McGovern A. Association between diabetes, level of glycemic control, and eye infection: a cohort study [published online December 29, 2016]. Diabetes Care. doi:10.2337/dc16-2320