Third of Covid-19 deaths linked to diabetes
Almost a third of all hospital deaths from coronavirus in England have been in people with diabetes,Â warns NHS England in a new study published today (May 20). The infection more than doubles mortality risk in this patient group.
Health service data released last week suggested that just over a quarter of Covid-19 victims in English hospitals had diabetes.
The new research examined 23,804 Covid-19 deaths in hospitals during the pandemic. Of those, 7,466 occurred in people with type 2 diabetes, while 365 were in those with type 1 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes have a three-and-a-half times greater risk of dying in hospital with coronavirus than people without diabetes, NHS England said.
Obesity was found to double mortality risk in Covid-19 patients with type 1 diabetes and increased it by almost half in those with type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, elevated blood sugar levels doubled mortality risk in those with type 1 diabetes and raised it by over 60 per cent in those with type 2.
However, age is the biggest determining risk factor for death among people with diabetes who contract Covid-19. Under-40s have a â€œvery lowâ€ risk compared with those over 40 years of age, and especially compared with older people, according to the findings.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, national clinical director for diabetes and obesity at NHS England and lead author of the study, said: â€œThis research shows the extent of the risk of coronavirus for people with diabetes and the different risks for those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Importantly, it also shows that higher blood glucose levels and obesity further increase the risk in both types of diabetes.â€
The NHS is offering video consultations and online appointments for patients with diabetes throughout the pandemic and has set up a dedicated helpline with Diabetes UK.
Safety at work
The diabetes charity said employers must put measures in place to keep people with diabetes safe at work. This could mean supporting them to work from home, putting them on furlough or implementing measures to allow stringent social distancing for key workers with the disease.
Bridget Turner, director of policy, said: â€œThe most important thing anyone with diabetes can do is try their best to manage their condition carefully, keeping their blood sugar in range as much as possible. All people with diabetes should also follow stringent social distancing measures to reduce their chances of catching the virus altogether.â€
The study also found that among those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, males, BAME groups and people living in deprived areas were at higher risk of death. Underlying kidney disease, heart failure and stroke also increased the risk.
Safely recommend the most effective laxative for every customer with constipation
Viatris has created this short video based on a publication reviewing global research into the potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health. It identifies six areas where psychiatrists can play a role in supporting people's mental health through these difficult times.
Record my learning outcomes
Inspiring stories related to health, fitness and the pursuit of wellbeing
Managing hay fever: help meet your customers' needs
This module will improve your hay fever knowledge, helping you to understand its impact on sufferers and recommend the right products to ease symptoms
15 Min Module
OTC Omeprazole tablets 20mg: an opportunity for pharmacy
This module highlights a new opportunity to treat heartburn and reflux in the pharmacy with Omeprazole 20mg, which is newly available for customers to purchase OTC.
10 Min Module