The researchers observed more than 1,300 coronavirus patients in 53 hospitals in France between March 10 and March 31. Most – 89% – have type 2 diabetes; 3% have type 1 diabetes; and the rest have other forms of the disease. The majority of patients were male and the average age of all patients in this study was 70.
On the seventh day of the study, 29% of patients used a ventilator or died. Researchers say 1 in 5 patients using a ventilator and 1 in 10 have died, while 18% have been discharged from the hospital.
Patients with diabetes complications were more than twice as likely to die within a week, the researchers concluded. They also found that patients 75 years and older were 14 times more likely to die than patients under 55; and patients aged 65 to 74 years are three times more likely to die than those under 55 years old.
Those with sleep apnea and shortness of breath face a three-fold risk of death on day seven and obese patients with diabetes are also more likely to die, the researchers said.
“Another thing, being age and being male, I think those two things were recently and repeatedly validated by other studies. So, basically being over the age of 70 and being a man with diabetes and being overweight or obese really have the main results on the results, “Eckel said.
The researchers said they found no independent association between severe Covid-19 cases and age, sex, long-term glucose control, chronic complications, high blood pressure or unusual medications. Being overweight, as measured by body mass index (BMI) is an important factor.
“Only BMI turned out to be independently related to the primary outcome,” the authors wrote.
Increase the risk of infection
“It is well known that diabetics increase the risk of infection, especially for influenza and pneumonia,” the researchers wrote.
“In addition, diabetes was previously reported as a major risk factor for death in people infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and, more recently, with coronavirus related Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS). Epidemiological studies quickly and consistently showed diabetes as one of the co-morbidities major issues related to COVID-19 and affect its severity. “
The researchers found that patients who used insulin and other treatments to modify blood sugar levels did not have a higher risk of developing a more severe case of Covid-19. They say diabetics must continue this treatment.
No one in the study under 65 with type 1 diabetes died, but the authors noted that only 39 patients in the analysis had type 1 diabetes.
Eckels points out that this study alone does not always show that people with type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of becoming ill with Covid-19.
“Maybe that’s what they do. We just don’t have the information to speak clearly for that question,” he said.
This study shows that special attention should be paid to seniors who suffer from long-term diabetes and advanced complications who are at high risk of suffering from severe Covid-19.
“Based on observational data, I think, in the end, people can’t be too conclusive about it, but that no longer validates some other studies that show diabetes is a predictor for outcomes,” Eckel said.
“Older men are doing worse. I think the factor of obesity goes in now and makes this increasingly important,” he said.
“And then people with chronic medical conditions either heart disease, or obstructive sleep apnea, who come with shortness of breath, what can we say there are some observations that I think health care providers need to pay attention to in terms of their own medical practices related to Covid-19 and diabetes. “
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