Changes in sugar levels in diabetics aggravate Covid-19

A study carried out by IMIM and CIBERDEM reveals that patients with type 2 diabetes affected by Covid-19 have a higher risk of mortality or severe complications when blood sugar levels are very different from normal.

In diabetic patients, the severity of Covid-19 depends on their current sugar levels compared to their usual levels. Image of Raquel Gordo from this image.

According to a recent study, people with type 2 diabetes whose glucose levels are well above or below normal have a higher risk of dying, entering the ICU or needing mechanical ventilation when they become infected with Covid-19.

This study was carried out during the first wave of the pandemic by a research team from the Hospital del Mar endocrinology service and the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), together with the Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas (CIBERDEM).

For this study, samples of 91 patients were analyzed, measuring their glucose values ​​at the time of admission to the hospital and their glycosylated hemoglobin levels, which give a measure of the mean sugar levels of the last 3 months. The research team found that when glucose levels on arrival were much higher or much lower than usual (up to 20%), patients had a 4 to 5 fold increased risk of dying or experiencing serious complications.

A 20% increase or decrease in the usual sugar levels in type 2 diabetics rises their risk of severe Covid by 4 or 5 times.

Dr. Gema Llauradó, author of the study, proposes that “it would be interesting that every patient with this type of diabetes who is admitted to hospital with Covid-19, has their glycosylated hemoglobin levels determined, in addition to measuring their currenty glucose levels when entering the emergency room. This way we would have an idea of ​​their usual glucose values, and put the current levels in context”. In this way, she adds, those patients at higher risk could be monitored more closely.

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