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Diabetes & COVID-19

What Should People with Diabetes Know?

All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication from December 2021.

As the coronavirus pandemic starts at the beginning of the 3rd year, the U.S. surpasses 865,000 deaths from the virus, and no group has suffered more than American seniors and the scale of loss is only now coming into perspective with astonishment. In fact, seventy-five percent (75%) of people who have died of the virus in the United States have been 65-years of age or older.

75% of People Who Died of COVID Were 65 or Older

  • Researchers report that forty percent (40%) of people in the United States who have died from COVID-19 had Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes

  • They add that untreated diabetes can increase the severity of COVID-19

  • They note that having an inflammatory disease such as diabetes can increase the risks associated with COVID-19 as can accompanying conditions such as high blood pressure and obesity

A new study reports that forty percent (40%) of Americans who have died of COVID-19 had either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In addition, researchers say 1 in 10 people with diabetes who are hospitalized with COVID-19 die within a week, suggesting that unmanaged diabetes increases the risk of dying from COVID-19. Untreated diabetes also increases both COVID-19 severity and complications, according to research presented recently at the 81st Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

40% of Americans that Died from COVID-19 had Diabetes

People with diabetes who were not taking medication to control their illness were hospitalized longer and took longer to recover than other people with COVID-19, according to research led by Dr. Sudep Bajpeyi of the University of Texas at El Paso. The study also showed that Hispanic people are also 2.4 times more likely to die of COVID-19.

Dr. Camillo Ricordi, a professor and director of the Diabetes Research Institute and the Cell Transplant Center at the University of Miami in Florida stated, “There’s a clear association between having an A1C [blood glucose] level above 7 and the risk of mortality” from COVID-19, said Ricordi.

Initially, the most feared complication of COVID-19 was respiratory failure, studies now show that many other organs, including the kidneys, can be affected by the viral infection, too. In some cases, the virus has caused acute kidney damage.

Alan Kliger, M.D. clinical professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and co-chair of the COVID-19 response group for the American Society of Nephrology, says that those most at risk for acute kidney injury with a COVID-19 infection are people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and chronic kidney disease. "The most important message overall is that for these particularly vulnerable populations, testing patients for symptoms of disease and tracking their contacts is critically important. It's something we have not adequately been able to do in the U.S.,” he says.

Medical providers need to be made aware of the potential impact of cardiovascular conditions, cardiopulmonary, and nephrology complications in COVID-19 patients who require more intensive and frequent monitoring.

COVID-19 is the 3rd Leading Cause of Death Among Americans 65-Years and Older...

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