Influenza & Diabetic Patients

The immune system weakens with underlying chronic diseases like diabetes, which reduces our body’s capacity to fight infection1
People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from serious complications of influenza such as1,2

  • Pneumonia
  • Serious cardiac events
  • Neurologic complications
  • Worsening of diabetes related complications
  • Difficulty controlling blood sugar levels2
    1. Berbudi A. et al, Type 2 Diabetes and its Impact on the Immune System, Current Diabetes Reviews, 2020, 16, 442-449
    2. CDC, Flu & People with Diabetes, available at,, accessed on 8th NOV 2020.

Influenza Is More Frequent And More Severe in Patients With Diabetes

  • Influenza is more frequent among patient with diabetesThe prevalence of diabetes was higher in influenza cases than in matched controls (Adjusted OR: 1.11; CI 1.04-1.18) (UK for 141,293 individuals of all ages from 1991 to 1996)1

Diabetic patients are at increased risk of complications, hospitalizations and deaths due to influenza

  • More likely to be hospitalized: 3 to 6 times higher risk (during influenza epidemics).2-3
  • Increase risk of deaths from influenza complications: 6 fold increased risk4
  • Relative risk for death during hospitalization: 31 to 92 times higher5
    1. Meier CR, et al, Population-Based Study on Incidence, Risk Factors, Clinical Complications and Drug Utilization Associated with Influenza in the United Kingdom, Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis (2000) 19 :834–842
    2. Bouter KP, et al, Effect of epidemic influenza on ketoacidosis, pneumonia and death in diabetes mellitus: a hospital register survey of 19761979 in The Netherlands. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1991;12:61-8
    3. Allard R, Diabetes and the Severity of Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) Infection Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 1991 Apr;12(1):618.
    4. Influenza: the green book, chapter 19, available at, (p5), Published 20 March 2013
    5. Diepersloot RJA, et al, influenza infection and diabetes Meletus, Diabetes care, 2000; 23:95-108