New research indicates that nearly half of hospitalised Covid-19 patients without a prior diabetes diagnosis have hyperglycaemia – which is an independent predictor of mortality at 28 days.
Several previous studies have shown a link between hyperglycaemia and worse outcomes in Covid-19, and at least one diabetes diagnosis, but this is the first to focus specifically on that group of patients. The findings, analysed retrospectively from 605 patients with Covid-19 treated at two hospitals in Wuhan, China, saw that a fasting blood glucose of 7mmol/l or more on admission — present in 45.6% of those without a prior diabetes diagnosis — was an independent predictor of 28-day mortality.
Although HbA1c data wasn’t analysed, the population is believed to include both individuals with pre-existing but undiagnosed diabetes and those without diabetes who have acute ‘stress hyperglycaemia’.
“Glycaemic testing and control should be recommended for all Covid-19 patients even if they do not have pre-existing diabetes, as most Covid-19 patients are prone to glucose metabolic disorders,” said Sufei Wang, of the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
“Addressing elevated fasting blood glucose at an early stage can help clinicians better manage the condition and lower the mortality risk of Covid-19 patients.”
The study is published in Diabetologia. Read the abstract HERE.