Coronavirus Is Killing People with This Common Condition in a Week

A recent study found that patients with diabetes were more likely to die within days of hospitalization.

COVID-19 has infected more than seven million people across the world thus far, and new cases are mounting daily. However, while much about the coronavirus is still unknown and being researched, we know that it affects people differently—and it's especially dangerous for those with pre-existing conditions or compromised immune systems. For instance, experts say that obesity nearly triples a COVID-19 patient's chances of dying. And recent research indicates that diabetes, another common condition, is killing some coronavirus patients within one week of being hospitalized.

A French study published in the journal Diabetologia on May 29 found that 10 percent of people with diabetes who were hospitalized for COVID-19 died within seven days of being admitted. The study looked at 1,317 people with diabetes who had been tested for COVID-19 and admitted to 53 French hospitals. Their findings also showed that nearly a third of those diabetes patients needed to be put on a ventilator.

And this is not the first time diabetes has been linked to coronavirus severity—a study from April found that people with diabetes were four times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those without.

Doctor Woman holds Oxygen Mask for Inhale breath problem Patient, Coronavirus or Covid-19 attack Lungs. Healthcare worker in protective equipment put on oxygen mask patient diagnosis of coronavirus

The Diabetologia study identified several diabetes-related complications that contributed to the risk of death within seven days, including "hypertension, micro- and macrovascular diabetic complications." It also tracked whether patients also had other chronic diseases, such as heart failure, or treated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Of the patients studied, more than 11 percent had diabetes-related disorders like severe hyperglycemia, ketosis, ketoacidosis, hypoglycemic events, and severe anorexia. Other factors like age and body mass index (BMI) also played a part.

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"Before [our] study it was 'all diabetes [patients] are the same.' Now we can surely consider more precisely the risk, taking age, sex, BMI, complications, and [obstructive sleep apnea] as clear 'very high-risk situations,'" co-author Samy Hadjadj, MD, PhD, told Medscape Medical News.

"Elderly populations with long-term diabetes with advanced diabetic complications and/or treated OSA were particularly at risk of early death, and might require specific management to avoid contamination with SARS-CoV-2," the study reads. "BMI also appears as an independent prognostic factor for COVID-19 severity in the population living with diabetes, requiring hospital admission." And for more about how certain conditions can affect COVID-19 patients, check out These Conditions Increase Your Risk for Severe Illness From Coronavirus.

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