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07-17-2020 | COVID-19 | Review | Article

Diabetes and Novel Coronavirus Infection: Implications for Treatment

Diabetes Therapy

Authors: David M. Williams, Asif Nawaz, Marc Evans

Publisher: Springer Healthcare


The novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2]) outbreak originating in December 2019 has resulted in a worldwide pandemic affecting millions across almost 200 countries. People with diabetes appear to develop more severe forms of the disease and to require intensive care unit support and/or mechanical ventilation more frequently than those with other underlying medical conditions. The mortality rate among people with diabetes is also significantly higher than that among people without diabetes. A diagnosis of diabetes is often an indicator of poor underlying metabolic health, and frequently people with diabetes have multiple risk factors for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), including cardiovascular and renal disease. In this review, we discuss the potential biological mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 may interact with disease processes implicated in diabetes and discuss how treatments commonly used for people with diabetes may affect COVID-19 severity and progression. There is currently a lack of evidence from human studies, and further trials in this area will prove useful to further expand our understanding of this rapidly developing disease process to improve outcomes for this high-risk group of patients.

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