Diabetics high blood sugar levels can increase risk of surgery infection

Wed, 22 Sep 2010
A new research report has found that reducing high blood sugar levels may be lower the chances of getting infected during surgery . The report also showed that diabetes patients having general surgery are more prone to surgical infections than those without the metabolic condition, and that there is a close connection between high blood sugar levels and increased a greater risk of infection after surgery.

The study, from the Albany Medical College in New York, is the first that has fully quantified the risk after general surgery. Lead researcher Ashar Ata said "We wanted to find out how much increased glucose in your blood had a role in infection in general surgery. Surprisingly, we did find that by the time your glucose is higher than 140 milligrams per deciliter, the infection went from 1.8 percent to almost 10 per cent."

When the level of blood sugar gets as high as that, medical staff should intervene to control the infection. Ata added "We found the higher the blood glucose, starting at about 110 milligrams per deciliter, the more likely you are to have an infection."

The study, published in the journal Archives of Surgery, examined patients who had had general or vascular surgery . Of those, 7.42 per cent developed surgical site infections.

It is thought that high blood sugar may increase the risk for infection because it can compromise the immune system, or because insulin may have anti-inflammatory and other anti-infective activities.
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