Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Adults With Diabetes Need a Flu Shot: Experts

    Large Canadian study finds people with diabetes are more likely to get sick from flu, be hospitalized

    WebMD News from HealthDay

    By Steven Reinberg

    HealthDay Reporter

    FRIDAY, Jan. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with diabetes are vulnerable to flu and its complications, experts say. Now a large new study finds they're also at higher risk of being hospitalized for flu.

    The study, which focused on people aged 18 to 64, provides support for guidelines advising people with diabetes to get a flu shot, the Canadian researchers said.

    "Working-age adults with diabetes appear to have an increased risk of being hospitalized associated with influenza compared to similar-aged adults without diabetes," said lead researcher Jeffrey Johnson.

    "This increased risk is small (6 percent), but nonetheless is justification for targeting adults with diabetes to get vaccinated," said Johnson, director of the Alliance for Canadian Health Outcomes Research in Diabetes at the University of Alberta.

    The American Diabetes Association, the Canadian Diabetes Association and government agencies in both countries recommend flu shots for people with diabetes, Johnson said.

    To look at the effect of flu shots, Johnson and his colleagues used data on more than 160,000 men and women in Manitoba province from 2000 to 2008. Their average age was about 51.

    People with diabetes tended to have more health problems than people without diabetes, the researchers found.

    People with diabetes were more likely to get flu shots than people without the disease, the study showed. Even so, people with diabetes had 6 percent greater odds of being hospitalized for flu than those without diabetes.

    For Johnson, one important question remains unanswered: Just how effective is the vaccine in preventing people with diabetes from getting the flu?

    "That piece of evidence is still not clear, and was not part of this study," he said. "The current evidence of this is very weak [and has] many limitations, so we actually don't know how well these vaccinations work."

    Nonetheless, there is relatively little harm in getting vaccinated, Johnson said. These findings provide support for the current guidelines and for getting an annual influenza vaccination, especially for adults living with diabetes, he said.

    The report was published Jan. 24 in the journal Diabetologia.

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
     
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
     
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Video
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Article
     
    Middle aged person
    Tool
    jennie brand miller
    Video
     

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    Article
    type 2 diabetes
    Slideshow
     
    food fitness planner
    Tool
    feet
    Slideshow