The first study of patients with diabetes infected with COVID-19 showed that 10% of them die within seven days after admission to the hospital, two-thirds are men.
According to the study, every tenth such patient dies within seven days after being hospitalized, and one in five is intubated and mechanically ventilated by this point, Diabetologia reported.
The study shows that two thirds (65%) of COVID-19 patients with diabetes are men, and the average age of all patients is 70 years. The deterioration in blood sugar control did not seem to affect the outcome of the patient, however, the presence of diabetic complications and age increase the risk of death, and an increased BMI is associated with both increased risk of needing mechanical ventilation and with increased risk of death.
The CORONADO study analyzed 1,317 patients admitted to 53 French hospitals (public and private) from March 10 to March 31, 2020. Most hospitalized patients had type 2 diabetes (89%), while only 3% had type 1 diabetes. In 3% of cases, diabetes was diagnosed during hospitalization with COVID-19.
Microvascular complications were found in 47% of the study participants, while macrovascular complications were present in 41% of the analyzed patients. By the seventh day, one in five (20.3%) had been intubated and placed on a ventilator in intensive care, and one in 10 (10.3%) had died. A further 18% had been discharged home at this point.
The presence of microvascular or macrovascular complications more than doubled the risk of death on day 7. Old age also significantly increased the risk of death, with a group of patients aged 75 years dying 14 times more likely than younger patients under the age of 55 years.
The presence of a respiratory condition, obstructive sleep apnea almost tripled the risk of death on day 7, as did the presence of symptoms of shortness of breath.
The study also confirmed that insulin and other treatments for changing blood sugar are not a risk factor for severe forms of COVID-19. Encouragingly, there were no deaths among patients under the age of 65 with type 1 diabetes, but the authors note that there were only 39 patients with type 1 diabetes in this study, and work is ongoing to establish the effect of COVID-19 in this particular population.