Diabetes & Flu
Diabetes, flu & YOU!
Did you know the flu can cause serious complications even in healthy adults? If you’re living with diabetes, there are higher risks involved.
People with diabetes are 3 to 6 times more likely to be hospitalised from flu1,2. In Singapore, the awareness of flu and its impact on people living with diabetes is concerningly low – as is the uptake of flu vaccination among people living with diabetes3.
1 in 9 Singaporeans have diabetes4. That’s a lot of people who should be particularly aware of their flu risk. If this includes you or a loved one, you should know:
- Flu can make it harder to control blood sugar5.
- Flu can lead to serious complications including pneumonia, heart attacks, and stroke.
- Following a flu infection, the risk of heart attack is increased by six times6 and those aged 40 and above are at higher risk of having a stroke up to two months post infection7.
- Singapore is falling behind targets set by The World Health Organization on the number of ‘at risk’ people who should be vaccinated against flu3.
What you can do
- Have diabetes, speak to your GP, nurse or polyclinic on how flu can affect you.
- Know someone in your family with diabetes, help them get to a doctor or nurse to discuss how flu can affect them.
- Are a healthcare professional, remind your patients living with diabetes about how flu can affect them.
- Allard R., Leclerc P., Tremblay C., & Tannenbaum T. (2010). Diabetes and the Severity of Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) Infection. Diabetes Care, 33(7), 1491-1493. Retrieved from: here.
- Bouter K. P., Diepersloot R. J., Romunde L. K., Uitslager R., Masurel N., Hoekstra J. B., & Erkelens D. W. (1991). Effect of epidemic influenza on ketoacidosis, pneumonia and death in diabetes mellitus: A hospital register survey of 1976–1979 in The Netherlands. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 12(1), 61-68. Retrieved from: here.
- Gupta, Vinay et al. (2012) Influenza Vaccination Guidelines and Vaccine Sales in Southeast Asia: 2008–2011. PLOS One 2012; 7(12). Available at here. Last accessed October 2019.
- Gov.sg. Can you develop diabetes? Available at here. Last accessed November 2019.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Flu and people with diabetes. Available at here. Last accessed November 2019.
- Kwong, JC. et al. (2018). Acute myocardial infarction after laboratory-confirmed influenza infection. New England Journal of Medicine 378:345-53.
- Warren-Gash C, et al. (2018). Laboratory-confirmed respiratory infections as triggers for acute myocardial infarction and stroke: a self-controlled case series analysis of national linked datasets from Scotland. European Respiratory Journal 51(3). Accessed August 2019: here.