More than one in five diabetes patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 die within 28 days, according to research.
A study by the University of Nantes in France followed 2,796 diabetes patients admitted to hospital with the virus.
It found that within 28 days, 577 (21%) had died and almost 50% (1,404) had been discharged after a typical stay of nine days.
12% were still in hospital 28 days after their admission and 17% had been transferred to a different type of facility.
In May last year a similar study was done on a smaller number of people, which suggested that 10% of diabetes patients with COVID-19 were dead within seven days of hospital admission.
Dr Faye Riley, senior research communications officer at Diabetes UK, said the study supports previous research which showed risk factors such as older age and a history of diabetes complications, “put people with diabetes at higher risk of harm if they catch coronavirus”.
“It also provides fresh insight into factors that are linked with a quicker recovery from the virus.
“Understanding which people with diabetes are at a higher risk if they’re admitted to hospital with coronavirus will help to improve care and save lives.
“But it’s also important to remember the overall risk of dying for people with diabetes remains low, and has reduced over the past year.
“Since the data in the study was captured, our understanding of how to treat coronavirus has grown, and new drugs shown to reduce risk of death are now in routine use.
“The best way people living with diabetes can lower their risk of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus is to avoid contact with the virus and take a vaccine.
“In the UK, people with diabetes are now being invited for vaccination, with those at highest risk being prioritised and invited to shield, and we strongly encourage you to get the vaccine when you’re offered it.”
The authors of the French study, which is published in the Diabetologia journal, said: “The identification of favourable variables associated with hospital discharge and unfavourable variables associated with death can lead to patient reclassification and help to use resources adequately according to individual patient profile.”