Diabetics more susceptible to hospitalization when fighting cancerous tumors

Patients with diabetes often have a harder time staying out of the hospital when suffering from tumors in their organs.

New research suggests that there is a 72 percent greater chance that diabetic patients with malignant tumors will be hospitalized. They are more likely to be admitted multiples times for longer stays in general, the study found.

Scientists know that diabetes is associated with an increased risk of solid-organ malignancy and hyperglycemia, but the study, published in Future Science OA, examined credible data to examine the interactions between diabetes, cancer and hospital stays.

The study was led by Nina Karlin, an oncologist at Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic. Karlin and her team studied Mayo’s institutional cancer registry and identified 4,620 patients with cancerous tumors meeting the study’s criteria. Of that population, 732 had a coexisting diabetes diagnoses and had significantly more hospitalizations than those without diabetes. On average, patients with diabetes endured hospitals stays a half day longer.

"This is the first analysis to determine that [diabetes] coexisting with solid-organ malignancies is associated with risk of hospitalization and multiple hospitalizations," Karlin said in a statement. "Such findings are thought-provoking and have significant economic implications. Further study is needed so that mitigating strategies can be developed."

The authors suggest that future research could improve patient outcomes and reduce the burden on healthcare providers and patients associated with expensive hospital stays.