COVID-Related Mortality & Glycemic Recovery
Written by Donna Itzstein, Pharmacist, CDE
This article is based on a systematic review and meta-analysis of COVID-19 related mortality and its relationship to diabetes, hypertension, body mass index and smoking. (1) The systematic review and meta-analysis of 186 observational studies (210 447 deaths among 1 304 587 patients with COVID-19). The observational studies were genuinely international.
The studies reveal that diabetes increases the risk of death with COVID-19 by 14%. Furthermore, the studies had a positive association that persisted across all sizes of data and geographic locations.
The absolute risk of death for patients with COVID-19 with hypertension compared with those without hypertension was increased by 11%.
Obesity increased the absolute risk of death by 12%. The table below shows a J-shaped non-linear relation between BMI and mortality risk. This observation suggests that the optimal BMI to reduce mortality risk with COVID-19 is around 22–24 kg/m2.
And finally, the absolute risk of death for smoking was increased by 7%. Many of our clients have two or more of these risk factors. These studies could assist your clients with the modifiable risks.
The good news is that it appears there is no evidence of long-term disruption of glycaemic management post-COVID-19 infection. An Italian study followed 660 adults with suspected COVID-19 pneumonia admitted into the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan.
Dysglycaemia in people with confirmed COVID-19 infection increased inflammation and organ injury and led to poorer outcomes. Fortunately, after the illness resolved, the prevalence of dysglycaemia reverted to preadmission frequency. (2) Although this study involves a small number of people, the results are positive.