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.
Ramon J, Llauradó G, Güerri R, Climent E, Ballesta S, Benaiges D, López-Montesinos I, Navarro H, Fernández N, Carrera MJ, Mauricio D, Flores-Le Roux JA, Chillarón JJ. Acute-to-Chronic Glycemic Ratio as a Predictor of COVID-19 Severity and Mortality. Diabetes Care. 2021 Nov 15:dc211321. doi: 10.2337/dc21-1321. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34782352.