The impact of obesity and diabetes on the risk of disease and death due to invasive group a streptococcus infections in adults

Gayle Langley, Yongping Hao, Tracy Pondo, Lisa Miller, Susan Petit, Ann Thomas, Mary Louise Lindegren, Monica M. Farley, Ghinwa Dumyati, Kathryn Como-Sabetti, Lee H. Harrison, Joan Baumbach, James Watt, Chris Van Beneden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background. Invasive group A Streptococcus (iGAS) infections cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. We analyzed whether obesity and diabetes were associated with iGAS infections and worse outcomes among an adult US population. Methods. We determined the incidence of iGAS infections using 2010-2012 cases in adults aged ≥18 years from Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs), a population-based surveillance system, as the numerator. For the denominator, we used ABCs catchment area population estimates from the 2011 to 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. The relative risk (RR) of iGAS was determined by obesity and diabetes status after adjusting for age group, gender, race, and other underlying conditions through binomial logistic regression. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine whether obesity or diabetes was associated with increased odds of death due to iGAS compared to normal weight and nondiabetic patients, respectively. Results. Between 2010 and 2012, 2927 iGAS cases were identified. Diabetes was associated with an increased risk of iGAS in all racial groups (adjusted risk ratio [aRR] ranged from 2.71 to 5.08). Grade 3 obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥40) was associated with an increased risk of iGAS for whites (aRR = 3.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.00-4.01). Grades 1-2 (BMI = 30.0-<40.0) and grade 3 obesity were associated with an increased odds of death (odds ratio [OR] = 1.55, [95% CI, 1.05, 2.29] and OR = 1.62 [95% CI, 1.01, 2.61], respectively) when compared to normal weight patients. Conclusions. These results may help target vaccines against GAS that are currently under development. Efforts to develop enhanced treatment regimens for iGAS may improve prognoses for obese patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-852
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • diabetes
  • group A Streptococcus infections
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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