Studies have already shown that people with diabetes do worse thannon-diabetics after being hospitalized for stroke, heart attack, andheart surgery. Now researchers have found that they do worse afterbeing hospitalized for trauma (a physical injury) as well.
A comparison of 12,489 patients with diabetes against 12,489 similarpatients without diabetes, all of whom were hospitalized for traumabetween 1984 and 2002, found that trauma patients with diabetesspend over a day longer in the intensive care unit thannon-diabetics, stay on ventilators over two days longer, and aremore likely to have complications during their hospital stay.
People with diabetes don't stay any longer in the hospital itselfthan non-diabetics, and they aren't any more likely to die duringtheir stay, which is reassuring. However, they are more likely torequire skilled nursing care after their hospital stay than thosewithout diabetes.
The authors did not know whether the worse outcomes for people withdiabetes were due to immune system alterations, poor sugar controlwhile hospitalized, or pre-existing health problems. They noted thatfurther study is needed to evaluate the potential benefits of tightblood sugar control on the outcomes of diabetic patients who arehospitalized for trauma.
JAMA Archives of Surgery, July 2007