MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Patients with diabetes are in the risk group regarding the novel coronavirus infection, with the elderly and the obese being the most susceptible. For instance, the lethality of COVID-19 and diabetes combined in patients over 70 is at 20.3% and it makes up 27.1% in patients over 80, the press service of the National Medical Research Endocrinology Center of the Russian Healthcare Ministry reported on Monday.
"During the first six months of 2020, COVID has increased the lethality of diabetes patients by 20%. According to the operative monitoring of the National Medical Research Endocrinology Center, the lethality with the combination "diabetes + COVID-19" is particularly high in elderly patients: 60-69 years of age - 12.9%, 70-79 years of age - 20.3%, over 80 years of age - 27.1%, as well as in those suffering from obesity. With the body mass index (BMI) of 30-34, the coronavirus lethality makes up 8.9%. Accordingly, with the BMI of 35-39 - 11.5%, over 40 - 13.5%. There are almost twice as many men than women among the deceased," the statement said.
As Deputy Director of the Endocrinology Center Marina Shestakova explained, diabetes is accompanied by high blood sugar which allows the coronavirus to penetrate cells actively. This group of patients has a weakened immune protection against viruses which also increases their susceptibility during the pandemic. "Infectious diseases lead to metabolic complications, such as ketoacidosis and coma. Patients with autoimmune endocrine diseases, with adrenal insufficiency, and hyperparathyroidism are also in the risk group," the press service quoted her as saying.
"Patients with endocrinopathies should maintain constant contact with their treating physician. It is best to do so remotely, using a telemedical consultation in the "doctor-patient" format. With the first symptoms of the COVID-19 disease it is necessary to call a primary care physician and, taking into account his recommendations, make a decision on hospitalization at a specialized medical center. If the situation requires, it is always possible to use the call center of the National Medical Research Endocrinology Center, request a telemedical consultation and receive detailed explanations of endocrinologists. We constantly interact with our patients. And, of course, in order not to get sick, it is necessary to observe all protective measures - wear masks, minimize contacts, observe social distancing," she added.