A study links higher blood sugar to COVID-19 death risk


An Indian nurse (L) collects a blood sample from police with a glucometer in a free diabetes for diabetes on World Health Day in Hyderabad on April 7, 2016. (Xinhua / AFP Photo)
An Indian nurse (L) collects a blood sample from police with a glucometer in a free diabetes for the World Health Day Diabetes Day in Hyderabad on April 7, 2016. / Xinhua / AFP

A recent study, Reuters reported, found that high blood sugar could mark a rocky path for COVID-19 patients seeking hospital care, even if they do not have diabetes.

The research was conducted on 11,000 coronavirus patients in Spain. No one was critically ill when they got to the hospital. However, researchers found the arrival with higher-normal blood sugar levels have higher chances of dying there – regardless of whether they are diabetic.

Overall, 20 percent of the patients died while hospitalized, including 16 percent of people with blood sugar below 140 milligrams per deciliter at admission, 34 percent of those with levels from 140 to 180 mg / dL, and 41 percent of patients with levels above 180 Mg / dL. (A level of 200 mg / dL or higher indicates diabetes.) After taking into account age and medical conditions, patients with the highest levels are 50 percent more likely to die in the hospital than patients with the lowest levels.

People with elevated blood sugar are also at a higher risk of intensive care and mechanical breathing assistance.

In a report published on Tuesday in Annals of Medicine, the researchers say accurate control of blood sugar should be mandatory in the management of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, regardless of whether they have diabetes.

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Halligan Agade

Halligan Agade is a new media editor at CGTN-Africa, a communications expert covering environmental issues, gender, children and women and other human interest stories. He is a Pure Oceans campaign. He studied Bsc. Communication and Public Relations and a Diploma in Television and Radio Production.