Is diabetes mellitus a risk factor for COronaVIrus Disease 19 (COVID-19)?

Acta Diabetologica
Giuseppe PuglieseEmanuela Orsi


The COronaVirus DISease 19 (COVID-19) is a pandemic infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Older age and presence of comorbidities, including diabetes, were shown to be associated with a more severe course and a higher fatality rate. Studies from the most affected countries, including China, United States and Italy, seem to indicate that prevalence of diabetes among patients affected by COVID-19 is not higher than that observed in the general population, thus suggesting that diabetes is not a risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, a large body of evidence demonstrate that diabetes is a risk factor for disease progression towards critical illness, development of acute respiratory distress syndrome, need for mechanical ventilation or admission to intensive care unit, and ultimately death. The mechanisms underlying the relationship between COVID-19 and diabetes remain to be elucidated. In particular, it is still unresolved whether is diabetes per se, especially if poorly controlled, or rather the various comorbidities/complications associated with it that predispose patients with COVID-19 to a worse prognosis. In fact, conditions that cluster with di...Continue Reading


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