The Impact of #Covid on People with Diabetes

People with diabetes were almost twice as likely to die with Covid and almost three times as likely to be critically or severely ill compared to those without diabetes. 

Researchers at the University of Aberdeen working with Kings College, London reviewed the findings from 158 studies that included more that 270,000 participants from all over the world to determine how Covid affects people living with diabetes.

Stavroula Kastora who worked on the study alongside Professor Mirela Delibegovic and Professor Phyo Myint explained:

“We found that following a Covid-19 infection, the risk of death for patients with diabetes was significantly increased in comparison to patients without diabetes. 

“Equally, collective data from studies around the globe suggested that patients with diabetes had a significantly higher risk of requiring an intensive care admission and supplementary oxygen or being admitted in a critical condition in comparison to patients without diabetes.  

“However, we found that the studies that reported patient data from the EU or USA displayed less extreme differences between the patient groups.  

“Ultimately, we have identified a disparity in Covid outcomes between the eastern and western world.  

“We also show that good glycaemic control may be a protective factor in view of Covid-19 related deaths. 

 “In light of the ongoing pandemic, strengthening outpatient diabetes clinics, ensuring consistent follow up of patients with diabetes and optimising their glycaemic control could significantly increase the chances of survival following a Covid infection.” 

The Need For Resilient Health Systems

New estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that the full death toll associated directly or indirectly with the COVID-19 pandemic (described as “excess mortality”) between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021 was approximately 14.9 million (range 13.3 million to 16.6 million).  

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said:

“These sobering data not only point to the impact of the pandemic but also to the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems that can sustain essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems. WHO is committed to working with all countries to strengthen their health information systems to generate better data for better decisions and better outcomes.”

Excess mortality includes deaths associated with COVID-19 directly (due to the disease) or indirectly (due to the pandemic’s impact on health systems and society).

Deaths linked indirectly to COVID-19 are attributable to other health conditions for which people were unable to access prevention and treatment because health systems were overburdened by the pandemic.

The estimated number of excess deaths can be influenced also by deaths averted during the pandemic due to lower risks of certain events, like motor-vehicle accidents or occupational injuries. Global excess deaths associated with COVID-19, January 2020 – December 2021

Globally, as of 5:13pm CEST, 9 May 2022, there have been 515,192,979 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 6,254,140 deaths, reported to WHO. As of 8 May 2022, a total of 11,579,263,039 vaccine doses have been administered.

Hospitalisations in the UK Due to Covid (latest figures when written)

  • England (9.05.2022) 7,647
  • Scotland (9.05.2022) 1,033
  • Wales (6.05.2022) 688
  • N.Ireland (8.05.2022) 254

In the week ending 3rd May 2022 6,892 people were admitted to hospitals in the UK after becoming very ill due to the Covid-19 virus.

Covid Deaths in the UK

In the week ending on 9th May 2022: 1,512 people in the UK died within 28 days of positive test bringing the UK total of deaths due to Covid by that measurement to 176,424.

In the week ending on 9th May 2022: 1,185 died  with COVID-19 on the death certificate bringing the UK total of deaths due to Covid by that measurement to 192,464

  • get your vaccine when offered to ensure you are fully protected
  • stay at home if you’re unwell with symptoms or have a fever
  • open windows when socialising indoors
  • wear a face covering in indoor public places and on public transport
  • wash your hands to protect yourself

The study by the University of Aberdeen ‘Impact of diabetes on COVID-19 mortality and hospital outcomes from a global perspective: An umbrella systematic review and meta-analysis’ was published in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. It looked at the risks of Covid in patients with diabetes while factoring in the patients’ location and thereby highlighting potential healthcare resources available as well as possible ethnic differences and other societal factors.

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  1. As more events are being planned for Orkney, such as exhibitions and festivals, I am beginning to feel more resentful about not going indoors with unknown people. Then – I have asthma, and was awake at 5 o’clock in the morning having trouble breathing – to the extent of feeling a bit panicky.
    So – as long as Covid is here, I’ll stay at home. I wish some other buggers would do the same.

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