Diabetes Could Increase Severity of COVID-19, Including Risk of ICU Admission and Death

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Fadini

Gian Paolo Fadini, MD PhD
Associate Professor of Endocrinology
Department of Medicine, University of Padova
Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Since the very beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, it was suggested that It has been initially suggested that diabetes mellitus is one of the most common comorbidities in infected people, but its exact prevalence is unclear.

However, exact numbers were uncertain. We have addressed this issue in a study published as a letter in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: According to 12 studies reporting data from 2108 Chinese patients and preliminary data from Italian patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, diabetes does not increase the risk of new coronavirus infection.

However, diabetes could worsen the outcome of this new coronavirus disease, increasing the risk of intensive care unit admission and death. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: Diabetic patients should be reassured that they are not at increased risk of getting infected by new coronavirus. Yet, they still need to follow strictly the health recommendations, including wearing personal protection devices and maintain social distancing. Particular attention should be payed to alarm symptoms in diabetic patients, because diabetes could accelerate disease course. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Our data are only preliminary and need to be confirmed in more studies from more countries in the world. We are actively collecting data to evaluate the prevalence and impact of diabetes on COVID-19 and were are exploring is some diabetes therapies can be more effective than others in preventing the infection and / or disease progression.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Close monitoring of these data are important for a correct communication to patients and healthcare providers. However, caution should be payed when interpreting data on COVID-19 because the situation is highly dynamic and solid data will be available most likely when the pandemic has finished. 


Fadini GP, Morieri ML, Longato E, Avogaro A. Prevalence and impact of diabetes among people infected with SARS-CoV-2 [published online ahead of print, 2020 Mar 28]. J Endocrinol Invest. 2020;10.1007/s40618-020-01236-2. doi:10.1007/s40618-020-01236-2



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May 12, 2020 @ 2:02 am 

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