10% of Hospitalized Coronavirus Patients with Diabetes Die within a Week, Study Shows

Study results also show that two thirds of the patients are men.
Fabienne Lang

The first study that specifically analyzes the effects of COVID-19 in patients with diabetes has shown that 10% die within seven days of being hospitalized. Two thirds of them are men. 

The study was carried out by diabetologists at L'Institut du thorax, University Hospital Nantes, INSERM, CNRS, and the University of Nantes in France, and is published in Diabetologia.


The study and diabetes

The researchers analyzed over 1,300 COVID-19 patients with diabetes, with an average age of 70, who were in hospital in France over March. Of them, 89% had type 2 diabetes, 3% had type 1, and the rest had other types. 

The study, which is the first to examine the effects of COVID-19 on patients with diabetes, found that 1 out of 5 of the patients were placed on a ventilator in ICU within a week of being admitted to hospital. One in ten died after seven days, and 18% had been discharged. 

"The risk factors for severe form of COVID-19 [in patients with diabetes] are identical to those found in the general population: age and BMI [weight]," explained researchers led by diabetes specialists Dr. Bertrand Cariou and Dr. Samy Hadjadj, from the University Hospital Nantes.

Poor blood sugar control was not linked to the patients' outcome, but diabetic complications and older age were and they were found to increase the odds of death. Also linked to higher mortality rate was higher body mass index (BMI). Patients with higher BMI were more likely to require a ventilator. 

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Other complications such as with the eye, kidney, or nerves, each more than doubled a patient's risk of death seven days after being hospitalized, as per the research. Age also played a significant part. Patients who were over 75 years old were 14 times more likely to pass away than those under 55. 

In terms of sex, women were 25% less likely to die or need a ventilator, however, the researchers noted this difference was borderline.

This research will likely assist in the continual research towards a vaccine and a cure against COVID-19.

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