Working-age adults who have diabetes are more susceptible to severe flu infections, according to a study from University of Alberta researchers who published their findings in Diabetologia. The group's goal was to compare flu levels in adults with and without the disease to help fill in knowledge gaps that underlie vaccination recommendations.
The team cohort study used data from Manitoba, Canada, from 2000 to 2008. All working-age adults were identified and paired with two nondiabetic controls.
Researchers looked at clinic visits, hospitalizations for pneumonia and flu, and all-cause hospitalization. Their analysis included 745,777 person-years of follow-up among 166,715 subjects. Those who had diabetes were more likely to be vaccinated against flu.
People with diabetes had a 6% (relative risk 1.06, 95% confidence interval 1.02 to 1.10; absolute risk difference 6 per 1,000 adults per year) greater increase in all-cause hospitalization linked to flu. However, researchers found no difference between the groups in the rates of flulike illness or pneumonia and influenza.
They concluded that the evidence is the strongest yet for targeting patients with diabetes for flu vaccination.
Jan 24 Diabetologia study