DUBLIN — Having diabetes doubles the risk of death after a novel coronavirus infection, according to research published on Thursday.
According to a team of doctors and scientists from countries including Australia, China, South Africa and the United States, “the vulnerability of people with diabetes during a public health emergency became evident by their at least 2 times increased risk of severe disease or death” after contracting the virus.
“Individuals with poorly controlled diabetes, comorbidities, or both” are “especially” vulnerable to Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, according to the team, whose research was published by The Lancet, a British medical journal.
The researchers described as “staggering” the “global burden of diabetes,” with an estimated 463 million adults affected in 2019.
Some 4.2 million people died last year “as a result of the condition and its complications,” according to the research team, which includes academics from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Imperial College London.
According to official data put together by Johns Hopkins University, almost 1.3 million people have died after catching coronavirus.
Official data show over 52 million infections, though the World Health Organization (WHO) said in October that the real number could be over 700 million.
The pandemic prompted dozens of countries to impose restrictions, cutting back on non-coronavirus health care in the first half the year and inflicting what the researchers labelled “a heavy toll on health care systems and the global economy.”Show