Tool to help manage COVID-19 patients with diabetes


ISLAMABAD, August 22 (online): A team from the University of Michigan have developed an algorithm to help treat COVID-19 patients with diabetes. The tool could reduce the risk of complications, such as kidney failure and respiratory distress, in these people.

People with diabetes are one of the groups at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Although people with diabetes are not more likely to contract the disease initially, they are more likely to face worse outcomes.

Complications in people with diabetes include elevation of blood glucose levels, diabetic ketoacidosis, and pneumonia. There is also an elevated risk of more severe outcomes. One study in England found that one-third of COVID-19-related deaths in the hospitals were people with diabetes.

Although scientists do not fully understand why people with diabetes are at increased risk from COVID-19, it seems that high blood sugar levels may be the trigger.

A recent study, for example, found that high blood glucose has associations with inflammation, a process responsible for some of the worst outcomes of COVID-19.

The researchers based the report on the experience at the University of Michigan hospital. Michigan has a relatively high number of COVID-19 cases and high rates of complications, with over 93,600 confirmed cases and almost 6,400 deaths at the time of writing.

The University of Michigan hospital treated around 500 patients with COVID-19 from the start of the pandemic to the time of the study. Of these, they knew that roughly a third had diabetes.

The researchers also included additional patients with no history of diabetes who developed high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) while in the hospital.

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