Diabetics make up almost 20% of Covid-19 hospital deaths

Almost a fifth of coronavirus-related deaths in hospitals across Scotland have been diabetics, according to figures.

Almost a fifth of coronavirus-related deaths in hospitals across Scotland have been diabetics, according to official figures.

The statistics have sparked calls for protection and guidelines for those with the condition as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

It follows similar reports diabetics made up 30% of fatalities in hospitals south of the border.

Figures obtained by the PA news agency from the National Records of Scotland show 554 of those who died with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificates up to May 24 also had diabetes.

That is almost 15% of the 3779 total coronavirus deaths at that time.

Out of the 1760 people who died in hospital with the virus, 341 were diabetics – 19%.

Angela Mitchell, national director at Diabetes Scotland said: “The recent statistics underline the urgent need to ensure people with diabetes are protected and supported, especially as lockdown measures are eased.

“There must be assurances that people with diabetes should not be put in a situation that puts them at risk at work.

“Employers must put measures in place to keep people with diabetes safe, either by supporting people to work at home or, where this is not possible, by putting people with diabetes on furlough or by putting measures in place to allow stringent social distancing for those key workers who absolutely must be at work.

“We need to make sure that the new Government workplace guidelines work for people with diabetes.”

The figures also show 10% of people who died in care homes had the condition – 175 out of 1749 – and diabetics made up 14% of those who died at home – 38 out of 264.

Both type one and type two diabetics are included in the numbers, without a breakdown.

The most recent Scottish Diabetic Survey shows there were more than 304,000 people with the condition in Scotland in 2018, making up 5.6% of the population.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We recognise the challenges faced on a daily basis by people living with diabetes.

“Specific support programmes are in place for people living with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.

“We keep all clinical guidance under review and continue to work with our advisors – including a specific diabetes speciality advisor.

“If anyone with diabetes has any concerns about their condition, they should contact their GP or their diabetes clinical team.

“They will be able to provide specific advice and support based on their individual circumstances.”

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