Diabetes Identified as Possible Risk Factor for MRSA Infections in New Mothers

Published Online: Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Women with diabetes appear to be more likely to be infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) after giving birth than nondiabetic mothers, according to the results of a study published in the July 2013 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, used data from the nationally representative Nationwide Inpatient Sample to analyze the frequency of hospital-based MRSA infections in more than 3.5 million women following delivery from 2005 to 2008. Of these women, 28,949 were diagnosed with diabetes prior to pregnancy, and 185,514 developed gestational diabetes.

A total of 563 invasive MRSA infections were diagnosed among participants, 17 of which occurred in women with pre-pregnancy diabetes. After accounting for the effects of obesity, the results indicated that the odds ratio of infection for women with pre-pregnancy diabetes compared with that for women without diabetes was 2.5. In addition, women with diabetic complications were more than 5 times as likely to be infected as those without diabetes and those with uncomplicated diabetes combined. However, no association was found between gestational diabetes and increased MRSA infection risk.

The authors concluded that more research is needed and suggest that hospitals be aware of the risk of MRSA infections in diabetic women after labor.

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