Context: Diabetes is reported as a risk factor for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but whether this risk is similar in all categories of age remains unclear.
Objective: To investigate the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes in hospitalized patients with and without diabetes according to age categories.
Design setting and participants: We conducted a retrospective observational cohort study of 6314 consecutive patients hospitalized for COVID-19 between February and 30 June 2020 in the Paris metropolitan area, France; follow-up was recorded until 30 September 2020.
Main outcome measure(s): The main outcome was a composite outcome of mortality and orotracheal intubation in subjects with diabetes compared with subjects without diabetes, after adjustment for confounding variables and according to age categories.
Results: Diabetes was recorded in 39% of subjects. Main outcome was higher in patients with diabetes, independently of confounding variables (hazard ratio [HR] 1.13 [1.03-1.24]) and increased with age in individuals without diabetes, from 23% for those <50 to 35% for those >80 years but reached a plateau after 70 years in those with diabetes. In direct comparison between patients with and without diabetes, diabetes-associated risk was inversely proportional to age, highest in <50 years and similar after 70 years. Similarly, mortality was higher in patients with diabetes (26%) than in those without diabetes (22%, P < 0.001), but adjusted HR for diabetes was significant only in patients younger than age 50 years (HR 1.81 [1.14-2.87]).
Conclusions: Diabetes should be considered as an independent risk factor for the severity of COVID-19 in young adults more so than in older adults, especially for individuals younger than 70 years.
Keywords: age; covid-19; diabetes; mortality.
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