Older diabetes patients at higher risk for severe flu outcomes

Older diabetes patients had a higher risk for severe influenza outcomes, including hospitalizations, a study recently published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases found. 

Researchers in study, which was published March 16, analyzed the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network for hospitalization data on adults 65 and older from 2012 to 2017. 

Of 31,934 adults hospitalized with influenza, 34 percent had diabetes. Adults with diabetes had higher rates of influenza-associated hospitalization, ICU admission, pneumonia, mechanical ventilation and in-hospital death. 

"These findings reinforce the importance of preventing influenza virus infections through annual vaccination, and early treatment of influenza illness with antivirals in older adults with DM [diabetes mellitus]," researchers wrote.

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