Research shows virus disproportionately afflicts diabetics

Cai Wenjun
COVID-19 patients with high blood sugar had a significantly higher risk of poor outcomes, such as requiring intensive care, respiratory machines & falling into critical condition.
Cai Wenjun

Shanghai medical experts teamed up with colleagues in Wuhan, the initial front line of the battle against the novel coronavirus, to research the relationship between blood sugar and the outcomes of COVID-19 patients with diabetes.

COVID-19 patients with high blood sugar had a significantly higher risk of poor outcomes, such as requiring intensive care, respiratory machines and falling into critical condition, according to research conducted by Shanghai Sixth People’s Hospital.

The article “Thresholds of Glycemia and the Outcomes of COVID-19 Complicated With Diabetes: A Retrospective Exploratory Study Using Continuous Glucose Monitoring” was published by the medical journal Diabetes Care, hospital officials announced today.

Diabetes is the second most common complication for COVID-19 patients, a combination that hastens their decline and makes death more likely.

Last February, the Shanghai medical team traveled to Wuhan Leishenshan Hospital, a makeshift COVID-19 treatment center, and stayed until April.

“We found there was a high percentage of coronavirus patients with diabetes," said Dr Zhang Lei from the hospital’s endocrinology and metabolism department. "In fact, one-third of hospitalized patients had diabetes."

To improve patients’ glucose management, reduce their suffering and protect medical staff from exposure to the virus, doctors in Wuhan established an Internet-based glucose-monitoring and management system for quarantined patients. Online and offline consultations with medical experts in Shanghai were carried out, and monitoring equipment was transported to Wuhan.

Research shows virus disproportionately afflicts diabetics
Ti Gong

The medical team from Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital pose in front of Wuhan Leishenshan Hospital.

Research shows virus disproportionately afflicts diabetics
Ti Gong

A doctor from Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital works at Wuhan Leishanshan Hospital.


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