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Patients with type 1 and 2 diabetes are at increased risk of a range

of common infections, a new study concludes.

Infections of the urinary and lower respiratory tracts, skin and mucous membrane were all more common than normal in diabetes patients.

Type 1 patients were at nearly double the risk of urinary tract infection, at 42 per cent higher risk of lower respiratory tract infection and 59 per cent more risk of bacterial infections of the skin and mucous membrane.

In type 2 patients, the equivalent increased risks were 24 per cent, 32 per cent and 33 per cent respectively.

Study leader Dr Leonie Muller, research fellow at the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care in Utrecht, the Netherlands, said: 'Physicians should educate their diabetes patients about the increased risk, how to reduce that risk and when to consult their GP.'

Dr Muller said further research would need to focus on whether diabetes increased the risk of complications from infection.

The Dutch research, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases (August), studied 705 adults with type 1 diabetes, 6,712 with type 2 and 18,911 hypertension-only controls.

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