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. 2020 May 6;14(4):535-545.
doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2020.04.044. Online ahead of print.

Is Diabetes Mellitus Associated With Mortality and Severity of COVID-19? A Meta-Analysis

Free PMC article

Is Diabetes Mellitus Associated With Mortality and Severity of COVID-19? A Meta-Analysis

Ashish Kumar et al. Diabetes Metab Syndr. .
Free PMC article


Background: Many studies on COVID-19 have reported diabetes to be associated with severe disease and mortality, however, the data is conflicting. The objectives of this meta-analysis were to explore the relationship between diabetes and COVID-19 mortality and severity, and to determine the prevalence of diabetes in patients with COVID-19.

Methods: We searched the PubMed for case-control studies in English, published between Jan 1 and Apr 22, 2020, that had data on diabetes in patients with COVID-19. The frequency of diabetes was compared between patients with and without the composite endpoint of mortality or severity. Random effects model was used with odds ratio as the effect size. We also determined the pooled prevalence of diabetes in patients with COVID-19. Heterogeneity and publication bias were taken care by meta-regression, sub-group analyses, and trim and fill methods.

Results: We included 33 studies (16,003 patients) and found diabetes to be significantly associated with mortality of COVID-19 with a pooled odds ratio of 1.90 (95% CI: 1.37-2.64; p < 0.01). Diabetes was also associated with severe COVID-19 with a pooled odds ratio of 2.75 (95% CI: 2.09-3.62; p < 0.01). The combined corrected pooled odds ratio of mortality or severity was 2.16 (95% CI: 1.74-2.68; p < 0.01). The pooled prevalence of diabetes in patients with COVID-19 was 9.8% (95% CI: 8.7%-10.9%) (after adjusting for heterogeneity).

Conclusions: Diabetes in patients with COVID-19 is associated with a two-fold increase in mortality as well as severity of COVID-19, as compared to non-diabetics. Further studies on the pathogenic mechanisms and therapeutic implications need to be done.

Keywords: 2019-nCoV; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Diabetes mellitus; Novel coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; nCoV-2019.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of competing interest The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
PRISMA flow chart showing the flow of study selection.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Pooled proportion of diabetes mellitus in COVID-19 patients.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Forest plot showing pooled odds ratio of diabetes mellitus associated with severe clinical course including mortality.
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Funnel plot for evaluation of publication bias.

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