Background: Diabetes mellitus increases the rate of vaginal colonization and infection with Candida species
Methods: We surveyed women with diabetes receiving care at either an urban or suburban diabetes clinic to examine the relationship between vaginal Candida colonization, diabetes type and duration, and HbA1c level. 101 participants completed the self-administered questionnaire and self-collected a vaginal swab for Candida culture. Candida colonization was similar by age and race.
Results: Type 1 diabetics were three times as likely as type 2 diabetics to be colonized with any Candida species (OR = 3.4; 95% CI: 1.03, 11.41; p = 0.04); even after adjusting for abnormal HbA1c, which had an independent effect (OR = 1.4; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.76; p = 0.02). Recent antibiotic use (OR = 4.5; 95% CI: 1.18, 16.79; p = 0.03), lifetime history of chlamydia (OR = 5.8; 95% CI: 1.09, 30.54; p = 0.04), and performing oral sex during the past 2 weeks (OR = 4.9; 95% CI:0.84, 28.27; p = 0.08) were also associated with Candida carriage after adjusting for diabetic type and abnormal HbA1c. C. albicans was isolated from the majority of colonized type 1 participants (56%), while C. glabrata was the most common isolate among colonized type 2 participants (54%).
Conclusions: Improving glucose control and possibly modifying sexual behavior may reduce risk of Candida colonization, and potentially symptomatic infection, among women with diabetes.