People with diabetes are not more likely to succumb to the Covid-19 pandemic, as previously thought, a study from the University of South Africa in Cape Town (UCT) revealed on Tuesday.
Despite their multiple comorbidities and an increased risk of more severe Covid-19, the clinical results of people with diabetes and the coronavirus were not significantly different from those of people living without diabetes and diagnosed with the virus, the published study points out. in the South Africa Medical Journal.
According to the researchers, this finding reinforces the importance of considering people living with diabetes as a high-risk cohort in this pandemic.
Lead researcher Dr Tasleem Ras, UCT’s division of family medicine, said deceased diabetics were older, had more co-morbidities (especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure and chronic kidney disease) and were more likely to be on insulin.
“Even more worrying, almost 50% of people with diabetes admitted had an HbA1c level above 10%, which confirms the high background levels of poor diabetes control in the community,” he says.
He explained that in this cohort, an unexpected finding was that high HbA1C was not predictive of a poor outcome, although the results were influenced by the fact that most of the patients had been admitted to hospitals from acute care for a few days before admission to an intermediate care facility
The relatively good results obtained in this study, said Ras, may be a reflection of the good inter-facility engagements observed in Cape Town during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020. “This shows that it is desirable to do so. have a systematic, collaborative and inclusive response to the pandemic that covers all levels of care, “said the researcher.
He noted that limited resources and lack of access to hospital beds being common in some parts of the country and other low- and middle-income countries, but the study provided important data for a cost-effective model to ensure success in managing at-risk patients during a pandemic.