Scientists from the University of Aberdeen found that people with diabetes were almost twice as likely to die from COVID and almost three times as likely to be critically or severely ill compared to those without diabetes.
They found that good management of the condition can mitigate the risks.
They also found that while diabetes presents a big risk of severe illness and death with COVID, good control of blood sugar in these patients can strongly reduce this risk.
The research is published in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and was conducted by Stavroula Kastora et al.
In the study, the team reviewed findings from 158 studies that included more than 270,000 participants from all over the world to determine how COVID affects people living with diabetes.
The results showed that people with diabetes were 1.87 times more likely to die from COVID, 1.59 times more likely to be admitted to ICU, 1.44 times more likely to require ventilation, and 2.88 times more likely to be classed as severe or critical when compared to patients without diabetes.
The researchers found that patients in China, Korea, and the Middle East were at higher risk of death than those from EU countries or the U.S.
This may be due to differences in healthcare systems and affordability of healthcare which may explain the finding that maintaining optimal glycemic control, strongly reduces adverse outcomes in patients with diabetes and COVID.
The team says that following a COVID-19 infection, the risk of death for patients with diabetes was significantly increased in comparison to patients without diabetes.
But good blood sugar control may be a protective factor in view of COVID-19-related deaths.
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