Complications and resource utilization in trauma patients with diabetes

PLoS One. 2019 Aug 28;14(8):e0221414. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0221414. eCollection 2019.


Diabetes is associated with poor outcomes in critically ill populations. The goal of this study was to determine if diabetic patients suffer poorer outcomes following trauma. Collaborative trauma patient data from 2012-2018 was analyzed. Patients with no signs-of-life, Injury Severity Score (ISS) <5, age <16 years, and hospitalization <1 day were excluded. Multivariable logistic and linear regression were used to compare patients with and without diabetes for selected outcomes. Risk-adjustment variables included demographics, physiology, comorbidities, and injury scoring. Of 106,141 trauma patients, 14,150 (13%) had diabetes. On admission, diabetes was associated with significantly increased risk of any, serious, infectious, urinary tract, sepsis, pneumonia, and cardiac complications. Diabetes was also associated with increased ventilator days (7.5 vs. 6.6 days, p = 0.003), intensive care unit days (5.8 vs. 5.3 days, p<0.001), and hospital length of stay (5.7 vs. 5.3 days, p<0.001). Subgroup analysis revealed the least injured diabetic category (ISS 5-15) suffered higher odds of hospital mortality and any, serious, infectious and cardiac complications. The association between diabetes, hospital mortality and complication rates in mild traumatic injury is independent of age. Trauma patients with diabetes experience higher rates of complications and resource utilization. The largest cohort of diabetics experience the least severe injuries and suffer the greatest in hospital mortality and complication rates. A better understanding of the physiologic derangements associated with diabetes is necessary to develop novel approaches to reduce excess trauma morbidity, mortality and resource consumption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Critical Illness / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Complications / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / pathology
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Length of Stay
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia / complications
  • Pneumonia / epidemiology*
  • Trauma Centers
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult