Clinical Characteristics and Risk Factors for Mortality of COVID-19 Patients With Diabetes in Wuhan, China: A Two-Center, Retrospective Study

Diabetes Care. 2020 Jul;43(7):1382-1391. doi: 10.2337/dc20-0598. Epub 2020 May 14.


Objective: Diabetes is common in COVID-19 patients and associated with unfavorable outcomes. We aimed to describe the characteristics and outcomes and to analyze the risk factors for in-hospital mortality of COVID-19 patients with diabetes.

Research design and methods: This two-center retrospective study was performed at two tertiary hospitals in Wuhan, China. Confirmed COVID-19 patients with diabetes (N = 153) who were discharged or died from 1 January 2020 to 8 March 2020 were identified. One sex- and age-matched COVID-19 patient without diabetes was randomly selected for each patient with diabetes. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were abstracted. Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were performed to identify the risk factors associated with the mortality in these patients.

Results: Of 1,561 COVID-19 patients, 153 (9.8%) had diabetes, with a median age of 64.0 (interquartile range 56.0-72.0) years. A higher proportion of intensive care unit admission (17.6% vs. 7.8%, P = 0.01) and more fatal cases (20.3% vs. 10.5%, P = 0.017) were identified in COVID-19 patients with diabetes than in the matched patients. Multivariable Cox regression analyses of these 306 patients showed that hypertension (hazard ratio [HR] 2.50, 95% CI 1.30-4.78), cardiovascular disease (HR 2.24, 95% CI 1.19-4.23), and chronic pulmonary disease (HR 2.51, 95% CI 1.07-5.90) were independently associated with in-hospital death. Diabetes (HR 1.58, 95% CI 0.84-2.99) was not statistically significantly associated with in-hospital death after adjustment. Among patients with diabetes, nonsurvivors were older (76.0 vs. 63.0 years), most were male (71.0% vs. 29.0%), and they were more likely to have underlying hypertension (83.9% vs. 50.0%) and cardiovascular disease (45.2% vs. 14.8%) (all P values <0.05). Age ≥70 years (HR 2.39, 95% CI 1.03-5.56) and hypertension (HR 3.10, 95% CI 1.14-8.44) were independent risk factors for in-hospital death of patients with diabetes.

Conclusions: COVID-19 patients with diabetes had worse outcomes compared with the sex- and age-matched patients without diabetes. Older age and comorbid hypertension independently contributed to in-hospital death of patients with diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronavirus Infections / mortality*
  • Coronavirus Infections / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / mortality*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / mortality*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / physiopathology
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2

Associated data

  • figshare/10.2337/figshare.12210008