Diabetes is a risk factor for the progression and prognosis of COVID-19

Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2020 Mar 31;36(7):e3319. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.3319. Online ahead of print.


Backgound: To figure out whether diabetes is a risk factor influencing the progression and prognosis of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Methods: A total of 174 consecutive patients confirmed with COVID-19 were studied. Demographic data, medical history, symptoms and signs, laboratory findings, chest computed tomography (CT) as well the treatment measures were collected and analysed.

Results: We found that COVID-19 patients without other comorbidities but with diabetes (n = 24) were at higher risk of severe pneumonia, release of tissue injury-related enzymes, excessive uncontrolled inflammation responses and hypercoagulable state associated with dysregulation of glucose metabolism. Furthermore, serum levels of inflammation-related biomarkers such as IL-6, C-reactive protein, serum ferritin and coagulation index, D-dimer, were significantly higher (P < .01) in diabetic patients compared with those without, suggesting that patients with diabetes are more susceptible to an inflammatory storm eventually leading to rapid deterioration of COVID-19.

Conclusions: Our data support the notion that diabetes should be considered as a risk factor for a rapid progression and bad prognosis of COVID-19. More intensive attention should be paid to patients with diabetes, in case of rapid deterioration.

Keywords: COVID-19; diabetes; prognosis.