THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- People with diabetes who
are hospitalized for sudden worsening of symptoms of the common
lung disease known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
have longer hospital stays and are more likely to die than COPD
patients without diabetes, a new study has found.
This might be because impairment of their immune response due to
high blood sugar may result in more severe infections, explained
the researchers at Liverpool Hospital in Australia.
The investigators reviewed the records of COPD patients admitted
with a sudden worsening of symptoms (acute exacerbations) during
2007. The average length of stay for patients with diabetes was 7.8
days, which was 10.3 percent longer than the average stay of 6.5
days for patients without diabetes.
Among hospitalized patients, the death rate for COPD patients
with diabetes was 8 percent, compared with 4 percent for those
without diabetes, according to the report published in the June
issue of the journal
"Taken together with other studies, our study shows that diabetes was an adverse prognostic factor in COPD patients. We believe that better control of diabetes in patients with COPD could improve outcomes; in particular, reducing length of hospital stays and risk of death," study leader Dr. Ali Parappil, of the Liverpool Hospital's respiratory medicine department, said in a news release from the journal's publisher.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more