Being a diabetic patient increases Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's risk of developing cold and chest infections compared to others, doctors said.
Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the pancreas do not produce enough insulin or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.
The chief minister, along with his ministers and volunteers, spent the entire Monday night on the road outside the Rail Bhavan in central Delhi raising slogans. And from all indications so far, he seems set to spend Tue night also in the open.
"A person who is diabetic will be more prone to infections with exposure to cold. Infections like pneumonia, cough or any other kind of chest infection are more common among diabetics," Anup Mishra, director, Fortis C-DOC hospital for diabetes, told IANS.
He said if a diabetic is also suffering from hypertension, then he or she becomes more prone to heart attacks as the blood pressure increases due to exposure to extreme weather putting pressure on the heart.
Suronjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, internal medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said: "A diabetic is also an immunocompromised person. That is why they are more prone to infections when their blood sugar is uncontrolled."
Immunocompromised individuals are less capable of battling infections because of an immune response that is not properly functioning.
"I would say that when such people catch infections, doctors should be more aggressive in treating them," he said.
Kejriwal, who spent the night in the open, had to undergo several medical checks-ups by his physician.
Randeep Guleria, head of the department of pulmonary medicine, All India Institute of Medical Science said diabetics form a high risk group for any kind of infection.
"Diabetics form a high risk group. They should protect themselves from exposure to extreme cold, especially during early morning and late night," he said.
Guleria added that vaccination against flu and pneumonia was a good option for patients suffering from diabetes.