Diabetes as a Risk Factor for Perforated Appendicitis: A National Analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The American surgeon




BACKGROUND: A few important risk factors play into rates of perforation following acute appendicitis. Diabetes may be an additional risk factor due to various systemic complications that may contribute to perforation and additional adverse outcomes following acute appendicitis, all of which currently remains unknown in the United States. METHODS: Adult patients with acute appendicitis under 65 years of age were identified from the National Inpatient Sample between 2012 and 2014 and the distribution of baseline variables was examined across diabetic status using Rao-Scott chi square and student's t-test. A propensity score match was implemented for a conditional logistic regression that assessed differences in rates of perforation, outcomes, as well as postoperative complications. RESULTS: Among all patients with acute appendicitis, approximately 7% had diabetes. Diabetics were more likely to experience perforated appendicitis (odds ratio 95% confidence interval 1.093 (1.029, 1.160); = .0036), experience a longer length of stay (1.540 (1.434, 1.654); < .0001), receive an open appendectomy (1.139 (1.05, 1.236); = .0018), and experience postoperative cardiovascular complications (2.103 (1.325, 3.340)); = .0016). DISCUSSION: Diabetic adult patients under 65 years of age with acute appendicitis experience higher rates in perforation, a longer length of stay, more open surgical approach, and cardiovascular postoperative complications. Diabetes should be one of many risk factors considered in the evaluation and management of perforation following acute appendicitis.


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