High blood sugar a COVID-19 risk

While the COVID-19 mortality risk of those suffering from diabetes is well documented, new research suggests it may affect anyone who suffers from high blood sugar.

A study of patients with COVID-19 from Wuhan, China, where the disease was first recognised, shows that in patients without a previous diagnosis of diabetes abnormally high blood sugar was associated with more than double the risk of death.

The research also showed an increased risk of severe complications in people with abnormally high blood sugar.

Previous studies have established that hyperglycaemia (abnormally high blood sugar) is associated with an elevated risk of mortality in community-acquired pneumonia, stroke, heart attacks, trauma and surgery, among other conditions.

A number of studies have also shown links between diabetes and poor outcomes in COVID-19 patients.

However, direct correlation between fasting blood glucose (FBG) level at admission to hospital and clinical outcomes of COVID-19 patients without diagnosed diabetes has not been well established before this study.

In this new study, the authors examined the association between FBG on admission and the 28-day mortality of COVID-19 patients without previously diagnosed diabetes in two hospitals.

The retrospective study assessed all consecutive COVID-19 patients with a known outcome at 28 days and FBG measurement at admission from 24 January 2020 to 10 February 2020 in two hospitals based in Wuhan, China.

There were 605 COVID-19 patients in the study, including 114 who died in hospital. The median age of participants was 59 years and 322 were men (53.2 per cent).

A total of 208 (34 per cent) had one or more underlying conditions (but not diagnosed diabetes), of which high blood pressure was the most common.

Almost one-third of patients fell into the highest high blood sugar category on admission (a figure that if found consistently would result in a type 2 diabetes diagnosis) and a further 17 per cent were in the range that would be considered pre-diabetic, while more than half were (54 per cent) were in the normal blood sugar range.

The results showed that patients in the highest blood sugar group were 2.3 times more likely to die than those in the normal group.

Those in the pre-diabetic range were 71 per cent more likely to die than those in the normal group.

Do you suffer from hyperglycaemia? Have you been diagnosed as pre-diabetic? Are you worried you may have a condition that increases your risk of dying from COVID-19?

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Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.
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