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how to determine need to upgrade

hello list

this will probably appear dumb: is there any rule-set that will tell me how
important an upgrade is?
i ask, because i recently installed 2.1.12 (works fine) and read shortly
afterwards, that 2.1.16 is the stable version and then 2.1.17 came out. i also
read about 'potential database corruption' issues in 2.1.12 but cannot find
anything in the faq, that would explain to me, what exactly that could mean.
Please get me right: i appreciate the quality of the work behind openldap and
the  open fashion in which bug-info is spread, i simply feel unable to make an
educated decision on whether to follow every single upgrade or not. are there
any issues with 2.1.12 that could endanger the data i'm keeping in it? how can i
find potential pitfalls in my current installation?
please understand that an upgrade is not always easily feasible in the
application i maintain.

thanks for all clarification,