Diabetes ‘almost doubles risk of death from Covid’, study finds

The Aberdeen University study found diabetics are almost three times more likely to be 'critically or severely ill' with Covid.

Diabetes ‘almost doubles risk of death from Covid’, University of Aberdeen study finds iStock
Diabetes: Study finds those with condition three times more likely to be 'critically ill' when contracting Covid.

Diabetes almost doubles the risk of death from Covid, according to a new study in Scotland.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen reviewed data from over 270,000 people from all over the world to determine how Covid affects people living with diabetes.  

The study also suggested people with diabetes are also almost three times more likely to be “critically or severely ill” when contracting the virus.

The research, conducted in collaboration with King’s College, London, found that while diabetes presents a significant risk of severe illness and death with Covid, good control of blood sugar in these patients can “significantly” reduce this risk.  

Results from the data found that people with diabetes were 1.87 times more likely to die with Covid, 1.44 times more likely to require ventilation, and 2.88 times more likely to be classed as critical when compared to patients without the condition.

Stavroula Kastora, who worked on the study alongside Professor Mirela Delibegovic and Professor Phyo Myint, explains: “We found that following a Covid 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 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 glycemic control could significantly increase the chances of survival following a Covid infection.”