People with good blood sugar control are less likely to need oxygen or ventilation support and more likely to surviving the coronavirus.
More and more evidence shows that people with type 2 diabetes are at higher risk of developing the coronavirus infection or dying of COVID-19.
However, a study provides some positive news for those diabetic patients with well-controlled blood glucose.
These patients have a much better chance of surviving compared to those with poorly controlled blood sugar levels.
Professor Hongliang Li, the study’s senior author, said:
“We were surprised to see such favourable outcomes in well-controlled blood glucose group among patients with COVID-19 and pre-existing type 2 diabetes.
Considering that people with diabetes had much higher risk for death and various complications, and there are no specific drugs for COVID-19, our findings indicate that controlling blood glucose well may act as an effective auxiliary approach to improve the prognosis of patients with COVID-19 and pre-existing diabetes.”
Over half a billion people in the world have type 2 diabetes.
People with this health condition are one of the most frequent victims of COVID-19.
Therefore, the research team tracked 7,337 COVID-19 patients across 19 hospitals in which 952 of these were people with type 2 diabetes.
Those with diabetes who were admitted to hospitals needed more medical care and support to reduce the severity of COVID-19 infection.
In spite of all the medical interventions, patients with diabetes had a much higher death rate and multiple organ failure.
Their death rate was 7.8 percent versus 2.7 percent for the other patients with COVID-19.
However, the death incidence and health complications were much less in patients keeping blood sugar under control than those with poorly controlled diabetes.
In addition, the need for medical support such as oxygen or ventilation was lower in patients with well-controlled blood sugar levels.
The authors highlighted that people with diabetes should take more precautions to avoid infection.
If infected, then diabetic patients have to keep their blood sugar levels within the right range to reduce the severity of the infection.
About the author
Mina Dean is a Nutritionist and Food Scientist. She holds a BSc in Human Nutrition and an MSc in Food Science.
The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism (Zhu et al., 2020).