Diabetes can be a big trouble for people with COVID-19

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In a new study, researchers found that diabetes may contribute to more severe symptoms, rapid progression, and poorer prognosis in patients infected with COVID-19.

The research was conducted by a team at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

The team performed a retrospective study of 174 COVID-19-positive patients who were admitted to Wuhan Hospital from Feb. 10, 2020, through Feb. 29, 2020, to determine whether diabetes has an influence on the progression and prognosis of COVID-19.

Within the group of 174 patients, 37 had diabetes, and of these patients, 54.1 percent were male. The median age was 61 years.

The researchers noted a bib elevation of inflammation biomarkers in blood serum samples from COVID-19 patients with diabetes, indicating that these patients were more likely to experience a rapid progression of COVID-19 disease than patients without diabetes.

These biomarker elevations included an absolute count of neutrophils in patients with diabetes compared with those without diabetes.

Another significant finding was the detection of more prominent radiologic abnormalities in the chest computed tomography images of COVID-19 patients with diabetes, which showed an increased severity of pathological changes to the lungs.

The team says dysregulation of glucose metabolism will aggravate diabetes and then affect the severity of pneumonia, which works as an amplification loop.

Meanwhile, the diabetic complications signify the severity of diabetes, and these patients with diabetic complications showed a higher mortality rate, which further proves that diabetes is a risk factor for the prognosis of COVID-19, and the severity of diabetes is positively correlated with the poor prognosis.

The lead author of the study is Weina Guo from Tongji Medical College.

The study is published in Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews.

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