According to the UK’s National Health System (NHS), the risk of dying from coronavirus infection in people with type 1 diabetes is 3.5 times higher than in non-diabetics. With type 2 diabetes, it is twice as high. In the CORONADO study, scientists analyzed clinical outcomes in patients with diabetes who were admitted to 68 hospitals in France during the first wave of the pandemic.
This sample included 2,796 people, the average age of patients is about 70 years. Scientists focused on the death or discharge of patients from the hospital on the 28th day of illness. The authors of the study collected the necessary medical information: anamnesis, treatment received, clinical manifestations of the disease.
By the 28th day, 577 patients (20.6%) had died, that is, every fifth. Another 1404 (50.2%) were discharged. The average length of hospital stay was 9 days. Scientists found that more than 12% of these patients remained in the hospital, and about 16% were transferred to another hospital.
The study authors also assessed additional risk factors that could contribute to the worsening condition of a diabetic with coronavirus. First of all, this is age – the older the patient with diabetes, the higher the likelihood of death. Microvascular complications, including damage to the kidneys and eyes, severe shortness of breath upon admission to the hospital, and increased levels of markers of inflammation in the blood, have a negative effect.
However, patients who regularly take metformin, the first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes, had a markedly lower risk of death. This is not the first study to show the protective effect of this drug. Earlier, scientists from the University of Alabama reported that diabetic patients who regularly took metformin before contracting the coronavirus were three times more likely to survive than those who for some reason gave up the drug. Scientists believe metformin may have anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic effects that have not been previously described.