The medical condition which accounts for a third of Covid-19 deaths
Diabetics are twice as likely to die from coronavirus, a study has revealed, meaning millions of people in the United Kingdom are potentially at higher risk.
Across England, there were 3.3 million registered patients with diabetes in 2018/19.
According to the NHS study, people with type 1 diabetes have three and a half times the risk of dying in hospital with the virus and those with type 2 double the risk, compared to people without diabetes.
Out of the 23,804 coronavirus related deaths in English hospitals between March 1 and May 11, 7,831 were diabetic.
Lead author of the NHS study Professor Jonathan Valabhji said:
“This research shows the extent of the risk of coronavirus for people with diabetes and the different risks for those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
“Importantly, it also shows that higher blood glucose levels and obesity further increase the risk in both types of diabetes.
“This can be worrying news but we would like to reassure people that the NHS is here for anyone with concerns about diabetes – and has put extra measures in place to help people and keep them safe, including online sites to support people to care for themselves, digital consultations, and a dedicated new helpline for advice and support for people treated with insulin.”
With such alarming figures, organisations such as Diabetes UK are calling on the UK Government as a matter of urgency to review all of the emerging evidence about risks to people with diabetes, to ensure people with diabetes are protected and supported, especially as lockdown measures are eased.
The NHS have now launched a dedicated helpline alongside Diabetes UK, Novo Nordisk and Insulet.