Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are associated with increased incidences of conjunctivitis and antimicrobial prescriptions, but hyperglycemia does not appear to be associated with ocular infections, study findings show.
“We did not find evidence for the common assertion that diabetes is associated with an increased incidence of other eye infections,” AbdusSamad Ansari , of the department of clinical and experimental medicine at the University of Surrey in Guildford, England, and colleagues wrote.
Ansari and colleagues analyzed incident eye infections in 48,584 adults with diabetes (3,273 with type 1 diabetes) and 938,440 adults without diabetes, using data from the Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Centre database, between 2010 and 2016. Researchers also assessed single HbA1c measurements and area under the curve (AUC) HbA1c, as well as diagnosis and stage of retinopathy and presence of maculopathy. Logistic regression models were used to determine infection risk.
Patients with diabetes were at increased risk for developing conjunctivitis (type 1 OR = 1.61; 95% CI, 1.38-1.88; type 2 OR = 1.11; 95% CI, 1.06-1.16). There was no observed association between diabetes status and blepharitis, stye/chalazion, periorbital cellulitis, keratitis/keratoconjunctivitis, lacrimal gland infection or endophthalmitis. Glycemic control was not associated with any infection, according to researchers.
Researchers also observed an association between diabetes status and the incidence of antimicrobial prescriptions (type 1 OR = 1.69; 95% CI, 1.51-1.88; type 2 OR = 1.17; 95% CI, 1.13-1.2).
“The higher incidence of conjunctivitis and prescriptions for ocular antimicrobial agents in people with diabetes may be explained in part by an increased propensity in this population to consult a doctor and to receive prescriptions,” the researchers wrote. “Even given this possibility, these data support the hypothesis that conjunctivitis is more common in people with diabetes; however, hyperglycemia does not appear to be a major predisposing factor to ocular infections.” – by Regina Schaffer
Disclosure: Ansari reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for the other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.