This is the first time a study looked at the risks of Covid-19 in patients with diabetes while factoring in the patients’ location and thereby highlighting potential healthcare resources available, as well as possible ethnic differences and other societal factors.
Figures were gathered from all over the world including China, South Korea, USA, Europe and the Middle East.
The researchers found that patients in China, South Korea and the Middle East were at higher risk of death than those from EU countries or the USA.
The researchers suggested this may be due to differences in healthcare systems and affordability of healthcare which may explain the finding that maintaining optimal glycaemic control, significantly reduces adverse outcomes in patients with diabetes and Covid-19.
Stavroula Kastora, who worked on the study alongside Professor Mirela Delibegovic and Professor Phyo Myint, said: “We found that following a Covid-19 infection, the risk of death for patients with diabetes was significantly increased in comparison to patients without diabetes.
“Equally, collective data from studies around the globe suggested that patients with diabetes had a significantly higher risk of requiring an intensive care admission and supplementary oxygen or being admitted in a critical condition in comparison to patients without diabetes.
“However, we found that the studies that reported patient data from the EU or USA displayed less extreme differences between the patient groups.
“Ultimately, we have identified a disparity in Covid-19 outcomes between the eastern and western world.
“We also show that good glycaemic control may be a protective factor in view of Covid-19 related deaths.
“In light of the ongoing pandemic, strengthening outpatient diabetes clinics, ensuring consistent follow up of patients with diabetes and optimising their glycaemic control could significantly increase the chances of survival following a Covid-19 infection.”
Read the report in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
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