Diabetes Raises the Risk of Surgical Infections

Emily Toth Martin, Ph.D. MPH Assistant Professor, Epidemiology University of Michigan School of Public HealthMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Emily Toth Martin, Ph.D. MPH
Assistant Professor, Epidemiology
University of Michigan School of Public Health 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Surgical site infections are responsible for billions in health care costs in the U.S. We are working to identify groups of people who are particularly impacted by surgical site infections. By looking at the results of 94 studies, we were able to take a 60,000 foot view of the connection between diabetes and surgical site infection. We found that diabetes raises the risk of infection across many types of surgeries.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Care providers should make sure to provide support to patients with diabetes to help them manage their disease well throughout their daily life. People with diabetes can be proactive about talking to their doctors about strategies to reduce their risk of infection. Just like we encourage patients to ask doctors if they’ve washed their hands, ask what the plans are to reduce your risk of infection.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We were not able to determine the mechanism that links diabetes with surgical site infection. Many of the studies we looked at used appropriate procedures to manage glucose levels during surgery. More research needs to be done on how the long term management of diabetes affects future risk of infection during surgery.

Citation:

Emily Toth Martin, Keith Kaye, Caitlin Knott, Houng Nguyen, Maressa Santarossa, Richard Evans, Elizabeth Bertran, Linda Jaber. Diabetes and Risk of Surgical Site infection: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, October 2015

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Emily Toth Martin, Ph.D. MPH (2015). Diabetes Raises the Risk of Surgical Infections