The COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time and it has become the greatest challenge we have recently encountered. Based on currently available information obtained from clinical studies, older adults and patients who have certain underlying medical conditions, especially diabetes and obesity are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Besides following all preventive measures recommended by health authorities, keeping blood sugar under control while remaining of a healthy weight can significantly reduce risks of developing serious complications in case of infection.
Significant Risk Factors For Severe COVID-19 Disease
Although, there is inadequate data to indicate whether people with diabetes and/or obesity are more likely to get infection with COVID-19 than the general population, clinical researches have suggested that diabetes and obesity are firmly associated with increased risk of COVID-19 complications or severe symptoms. Diabetic patients with uncontrolled blood sugar levels are more susceptible to develop severe symptoms, resulting in prolonged hospitalization and increased risk of death. In addition, risks of developing critical illness caused by COVID-19 in patients with diabetes or obesity rise proportionately to the presence of other pre-existing medical conditions, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease.
Diabetes And COVID-19 Disease
When patients with diabetes cannot control their sugar levels, they are generally at risk for a number of diabetes-related complications. When patients with uncontrolled diabetes develop a viral infection, it can potentially result in severe symptoms. There appear to be from the following reasons:
Higher-than-normal blood sugar levels weaken the immune system, causing an impaired immune response. As a result, it becomes more difficult to fight against the virus effectively. Viruses can grow exponentially and spread rapidly.
Having diabetes-related complications or other comorbidities in addition to diabetes increases the chance of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
Viral infections cause body inflammation, leading to an elevated blood sugar in patients with diabetes. Poor blood sugar control effects immune system and fluid balance as well as worsens the co-morbidity and diabetes complications that patients already have had.
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