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World J Surg. 2012 May;36(5):1195-8. doi: 10.1007/s00268-012-1502-7.

Breast abscess, an early indicator for diabetes mellitus in non-lactating women: a retrospective study from rural India.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, St. Johns Hospital, P.O. Box No. 2, Kattappana South P.O., Idukki District, Kerala, 685515, India.



Breast abscess is commonly seen in lactating and non-lactating women. Diabetes mellitus (DM) frequently predisposes to soft tissue infections and has many different presentations. But DM presenting in the form of breast abscess is yet to be studied, and we believe our study is the first to explore this connection.


We collected 30 cases of breast abscess in women who presented to our hospital from May 2010 to June 2011 retrospectively. They were classified into lactating and non-lactating women, and their glycemic status was evaluated, together with length of hospital stay, management, recurrence, and follow-up status after 6 months.


We found that of the 30 patients in our study, 20% had high blood sugar levels. And 37.5% of the non-lactating women were diagnosed newly with DM.


This study shows that DM can present as breast abscess in non-lactating women. Therefore, non-lactating women with a breast abscess should be evaluated for DM.

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