Considerations for people with diabetes during the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2020 Jul 3;166:108296. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2020.108296. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: The severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to cause havoc globally, resulting in unprecedented healthcare, societal and economic disruption. People with diabetes have been shown to be at higher risk of complications and death when exposed to pneumonia, influenza and other coronaviruses. Despite pandemic scale infection, there is currently limited understanding on the potential impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on people with diabetes.

Aims: (1) To characterise the outcomes of COVID-19 for people with diabetes and (2) add value to current recommendations for healthcare providers and people with diabetes to encourage optimal management.

Methods: A search of PubMed, Embase and MEDLINE to March 2020 was undertaken, using search terms pertaining to diabetes, coronavirus and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We briefly reviewed the epidemiology and pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 in the context of diabetes.

Conclusion: People with diabetes are at greater risk of severe infection and death with COVID-19. COVID-19 has significantly impacted the daily lives of individuals living with diabetes through financial implications, food and medication scarcity and its burden on mental health. In Australia, delivery of medical care has been adapted to reduce the risk of transmission, with a particular emphasis on telehealth and remote monitoring.

Keywords: Coronavirus; Diabetes.