|About the Book|
Introduction. Diabetes is one of many chronic diseases, which increase with age. The majority of elderly people have type 2 diabetes. Early detection of infection in the elderly is a challenge because the classic signs of infection, such as fever and leukocytosis, are frequently absent. Few studies have investigated the effects of diabetes and age on prevalence of infection.-Aims of study. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence rates of infection and the diabetic status of an aging population.-Methods. Data was collected at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center through an electronic database that contained demographic information of patients with severe infection during six months of observation: August 2006--February 2007. The glucose value, HbA1c- type of infection, age, and gender were retrieved for this study. Statistical analysis was done with SPSS Version 14.-Results. There were 160 males (41.9%) and 222 females (58.1%), for a total of 382 subjects ages 18--99 years. The diabetic group consisted of 320 (83.8%) of 382 subjects- 48 (12.6%) were pre-diabetics, and only 14 (3.6%) had glucose values in the normal range. The glucose values ranged from 70 mg/dl to 700 mg/dl, with a mean of 105.4 and a median of 190.-Of 382 subjects, sepsis was the cause of hospitalization for 58 (15.2%)- urinary tract infection (UTI) for 52 (13.6%), and pneumonia for 51 (13.4%). The diagnosis of UTI and sepsis combined upon admission was found in 51 (13.4%) of those subjects. Regarding the sugar level and diabetic condition of subjects, the diabetics showed the highest rate of infection: pneumonia (40%), UTI (38%), and sepsis (49%).-Conclusion. (1) In this population of 382 subjects, 275 (72%) were undiagnosed diabetics and only 48 (12%) were known diabetic. (2) Elderly patients with the greater number of pathogens in their infections had a higher level of glucose in their serum. Thus, the level of glucose appears to be a more significant risk factor than age for the development of infection in older adults.