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The findings of a Danish study involving 598 individuals supported the recommendation that diabetics benefit from pneumococcal vaccination. Diabetics face a greater risk of contracting a serious pneumococcal bloodstream infection, especially if they have chronic heart or lung disease. Several factors such as high blood pressure may increase the risk of bacterial infections in diabetics, noted the researchers in Diabetes Care (May 2004).
For the study, the investigators evaluated 598 patients who had been hospitalized for the first time with a serious bloodstream infection called pneumococcal bacteremia during a 10-year period. The researchers compared each case with 10 control participants who were matched for age and gender. The results showed that 9% of the affected participants had diabetes, compared with 5% of the controls. After factoring in other illnesses, the researchers found that the odds of contracting pneumococcal bacteremia were 50% higher among diabetics. Age, however, made a difference. For example, among diabetics 40 years old or younger the chances were 4 times higher.