Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino released to rehab hospital; doctors say he has type 2 diabetes

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, his doctor said today as he announced that the mayor was being transferred from Brigham and Women’s Hospital to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital to begin the next phase of his recovery from a series of ailments that put him in the hospital for a month.

“We look forward to him doing the important therapy and then getting back to where he needs to be,” Dr. Charles Morris said at a news conference at the Brigham. “He needs now to focus on getting his strength back, on getting back to where he was before all this started.”

Menino, 69, had been sick with an upper respiratory infection and a blood clot that traveled from his leg to his lungs. While hospitalized, he suffered a compression fracture in one of the vertebrae in his spine. Morris said today that doctors had also discovered an infection in his back, as well as the diabetes.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Doctors say diabetes reduces the body’s ability to fight infection. Menino’s diabetes may have been one of the factors leading to his back infection, Morris said.

Asked how long Menino would have to stay at the Spaulding, Morris said, “I’ll leave that up to his care team at Spaulding.”

But he predicted, “He will rebound from this.”

Mayor’s spokeswoman Dot Joyce said the mayor was disappointed he wasn’t going home but glad his condition is improving.

“He is itching to get back out here and he will shortly,” Joyce said at the news conference with Morris.

Menino is said to be considering running for a sixth term. “I don’t see his medical issues being an obstacle at all,’’ to a future political campaign, Morris said.

Menino’s staff has said that he has been running the city from a hospital room since Oct. 26, when he cut short a vacation in Italy and returned home to seek medical treatment.

Doctors have said repeatedly that Menino’s mind remains sharp and that he is capable of making decisions appropriately. After five terms, Menino has built a sturdy administration that is keeping municipal government running without interruption, his staff has said, noting that the city has weathered two major storms, Hurricane Sandy and a subsequent nor’easter.