Diabetes mellitus ups risk of hospital-acquired infections in burn injury patients
In patients admitted for burn injuries, diabetes mellitus (DM) significantly increases the risk of hospital-acquired infections (HAI) but does not seem to affect the risk of mortality, a recent study has shown.
The study included 5,539 adult patients who were admitted to a hospital for burn injuries and whose records were accessed to identify DM cases. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used to determine the risk of 30- and 60-day mortality and HAIs.
The percentage of participants who were diagnosed with DM was 11.8 percent (n=655), which grew significantly over time (p=0.01). Contact burns (8.9 percent vs 4.7 percent; p≤0.0001) and inhalational injuries (11.0 percent vs 8.1 percent; p=0.01) were significantly more common in diabetics vs nondiabetics.
There were 4,426 patients (79.9 percent) who were hospitalized for at least 2 days and were at risk of infection, of whom 8.5 percent (n=378) developed at least one HAI. Significantly more diabetic patients developed at least one HAI (9.9 percent vs 6.4 percent; p=0.0008), but the overall number of infections was statistically similar between the two patient groups (p=0.96).
After adjusting for hospitalization length and other potential confounders, patients with DM were significantly more likely to get an HAI vs those without DM (risk ratio, 2.07; 95 percent CI, 1.28–6.79).
In contrast, even after complete adjustments, 30- and 60-day mortality rates were comparable between burn patients with and without DM. The risks of mortality after 30 and 60 days were similar between patient groups. There were 243 in-hospital deaths recorded.