HealthDay News — Patients with diabetes, particularly type 1 diabetes (T1D), are at increased risk of serious infection, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

Iain M. Carey, PhD, from the University of London, and colleagues used linked primary care, hospital, and mortality data to compare infection rates between 5863 patients with T1D, 96,630 patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D), and 203,518 controls without diabetes.

The researchers found that patients with diabetes had higher rates for all 19 infection categories, compared to control subjects without diabetes, with the highest incidence rate ratios seen for bone and joint infections, sepsis, and cellulitis.

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For T1D, incidence rate ratios for infection-related hospitalizations were 3.71, compared to 1.88 for T2D. An estimated 6% of infection-related hospitalizations and 12% of infection-related deaths were tied to diabetes.

“People with diabetes, particularly T1D, are at increased risk of serious infection, representing an important population burden,” the authors write. “Strategies that reduce the risk of developing severe infections and poor treatment outcomes are under-researched and should be explored.”

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Carey IM, Critchley JA, DeWilde S, Harris T, Hosking FJ, Cook DG. Risk of infection in type 1 and type 2 diabetes compared with the general population: a matched cohort study [published online January 12, 2018]. Diabetes Care. doi: 10.2337/dc17-2131