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Fewer Post-Op Infections with Good Glycemic Control

HbA1c less than 7 percent a protective factor

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetic patients who have good blood sugar control are less likely to have infections or other complications after non-cardiac surgical procedures, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Surgery.

Ronnie Rosenthal, M.S., M.D., from Yale University School of Medicine in West Haven, Conn., and colleagues conducted a retrospective observational study using data from the Veterans Affairs National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. They determined the effects of long-term preoperative glycemic control on postoperative infections in diabetic patients.

The final analysis included 490 diabetic patients who underwent major non-cardiac surgery and who had their hemoglobin A1c levels (HbA1c) measured within 180 days of surgery. Those with good glycemic control, defined as having HbA1c levels less than 7 percent, were more likely to have a reduction in infectious complications than those with higher HbA1c levels (adjusted odds ratio 2.13).

"If the association is confirmed in other studies, strategies to improve glycemic control prior to elective surgery can be employed to decrease infections and improve overall outcomes for diabetic surgical patients," the authors conclude.

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