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BACKGROUND: Population-based studies describing the association between diabetes and increased risk of infection have largely been based in high-income countries. There is limited information describing the burden of infectious disease attributable to diabetes in low and middle-income countries. This study aimed to describe the burden and risk of infectious disease hospitalisation in people with diabetes compared to those without diabetes in northeastern Thailand. METHODS: In a retrospective cohort study using electronic health record data for 2012-2018 for 3.8 million people aged ≥20 years in northeastern Thailand, hospitalisation rates for any infectious diseases (ICD-10 codes A00-B99) were estimated and negative binomial regression used to estimate rate ratios (RR) for the association between diabetes and infectious disease hospitalisation adjusted for age, sex and area of residence. RESULTS: In this study, 164,177 people had a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus at any point over the study period. Infectious disease hospitalisation rates per 1000 person-years (95%CI) were 71.8 (70.9, 72.8), 27.7 (27.1, 28.3) and 7.5 (7.5, 7.5) for people with prevalent diabetes, incident diabetes and those without diabetes respectively. Diabetes was associated with a 4.6-fold higher risk of infectious disease hospitalisation (RR (95% CI) 4.59 (4.52, 4.66)). RRs for infectious disease hospitalisation were 3.38 (3.29, 3.47) for people with diabetes managed by lifestyle alone and 5.29 (5.20, 5.39) for people receiving prescriptions for diabetes drugs. CONCLUSIONS: In this Thai population, diabetes was associated with substantially increased risk of hospitalisation due to infectious diseases and people with diabetes who were on pharmacological treatment had a higher risk than those receiving lifestyle modification advice alone.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabet Med

Publication Date



complications, diabetes mellitus, hospitalisation, infection, risk