Managing COVID-19 and Diabetes


Diabetes is one of the most common conditions worldwide, with prevalence (especially of type 2 diabetes) increasing at an alarming rate. The total number of the population diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is over 450 million and according to research from King’s College London and The University of Gottingen, the global cost of diabetes is set to almost double to $2.5 trillion by 2030.

COVID-19 and Diabetes

Research recently published in the Lancet assessed the absolute and relative risks of COVID-19 related mortality by type of diabetes in more than 61,000,000 individuals in England.

After adjusting for key confounders, such as age, sex, ethnicity, index of multiple deprivation, and geographical region, the odds for in-hospital deaths with COVID-19 were 3·51 (95% CI 3·16–3·90) for people with type 1 diabetes and 2·03 (1·97–2·09) for people with type 2 diabetes compared with people without diabetes.

A further study also published in the Lancet shows that the risk of COVID-19-related mortality is significantly and independently related to hyperglycemia in people with either type of diabetes.

Hyperglycemia can impair host defences, and poor glycaemic control has been associated with infections. Given that glycaemic control is a modifiable factor and can be achieved and sustained by healthcare interventions, these results emphasise the importance of supporting people with diabetes in effective self-management.

Furthermore, when treating patients who have been hospitalised with COVID-19 and who have diabetes, sub-specialties will need input from the inpatient diabetes team in managing diabetes and its complications alongside other treatments.

Specialist knowledge of diabetes will be crucial for patients outcomes and is needed now more than ever as the battle against COVID-19 rages on.

New Diabetes Management Approaches

The management of type 2 diabetes has undergone a paradigm shift in terms of approach and available therapeutic options. The new agents like SGLT2 inhibitors and GLP-1 analogs have opened up possibilities of management which were unheard of a decade ago.

The newer and smarter devices and monitoring equipment has brought safety and freedom from life threatening emergencies. We have moved beyond glycemic control and focus on providing cardio-renal protection.

This calls for a greater knowledge base among all healthcare professionals including nurses, doctors, dieticians and pharmacists.

Further Your Diabetes Knowledge

As a healthcare professional, you can make a significant contribution to solving the many complex healthcare issues caused by diabetes through improving your specialist knowledge and skills in treating and preventing the condition.

We offer postgraduate Diabetes courses that has had over 1,000 healthcare professionals enrol and develop their specialist knowledge in diabetes.