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High Blood Sugar Linked to COVID-19 Death Risk for Non-diabetics

by Colleen Fleiss on November 24, 2020 at 2:04 AM
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High Blood Sugar Linked to COVID-19 Death Risk for Non-diabetics

Hyperglycemia (abnormally high blood sugar) increases death rates for COVID-19 patients, including those without diabetes, stated research published in the journal Annals of Medicine.

The results revealed patients with abnormally high glucose levels were more than twice as likely to die from coronavirus than those with normal readings (41.4% compared to 15.7%). They also had an increased need for ventilator and intensive care admission (ICU).


The study emphasizes calling for compulsory hyperglycemia screening and early treatment for anyone hospitalized with COVID-19 who is non-diabetic.

"Screening for hyperglycemia in patients without diabetes and early treatment should be mandatory in the management of patients hospitalized with COVID-19," says study coordinator Dr Javier Carrasco from Juan Ramon Jimenez University Hospital.

Study Details

In this study, researchers investigated an association between hyperglycemia and time spent in the hospital, mechanical ventilation, ICU admission, and mortality, but independent of a diabetes diagnosis.

Data were analyzed from a national registry that collated information from more than 100 hospitals in Spain during the pandemic.

A total of 11,312 patients were included aged 18 or above who were admitted from March to the end of May.

The study participants were categorized into three groups relating to their blood glucose levels, ranging from standard to high (<140 mg/dl; 140-180 mg/dl; and> 180 mg/dl). A total of 19% had an existing diabetes diagnosis.

Study Findings

One in five patients died in hospital, with mortality rates highest among those with the greatest blood glucose levels.

No difference was found between death rates for those with diabetes and those who did not have the disease.

Hyperglycemia could be another 'inflammatory bystander' or directly affect how COVID-19 leads to complications and death, said study authors.

Source: Medindia

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