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Clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with severe covid-19 with diabetes
  1. Yongli Yan,
  2. Yan Yang,
  3. Fen Wang,
  4. Huihui Ren,
  5. Shujun Zhang,
  6. Xiaoli Shi,
  7. Xuefeng Yu,
  8. Kun Dong
  1. Endocrinology, Tongji Hospital of Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China
  1. Correspondence to Mr Kun Dong; kundong2019{at}


Objective This study explores the clinical characteristics of patients with diabetes with severe covid-19, and the association of diabetes with survival duration in patients with severe covid-19.

Research design and methods In this single-center, retrospective, observational study, the clinical and laboratory characteristics of 193 patients with severe covid-19 were collected. 48 patients with severe covid-19 had diabetes, and 145 patients (ie, the controls) did not have diabetes. A severe case was defined as including at least one of the following criteria: (1) Respiratory rate >30/min. (2) Oxygen saturation ≤93%. (3) PaO2/FiO2≤300 mm Hg. (4) Patients, either with shock or respiratory failure, requiring mechanical ventilation, or combined with other organ failure, requiring admission to intensive care unit (ICU).

Results Of 193 patients with severe covid-19, 48 (24.9%) had diabetes. Compared with patients with severe covid-19 without diabetes, patients with diabetes were older, susceptible to receiving mechanical ventilation and admission to ICU, and had higher mortality. In addition, patients with severe covid-19 with diabetes had higher levels of leukocyte count, neutrophil count, high-sensitivity C reaction protein, procalcitonin, ferritin, interleukin (IL) 2 receptor, IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor α, D-dimer, fibrinogen, lactic dehydrogenase and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide. Among patients with severe covid-19 with diabetes, more non-survivors were men (30 (76.9%) vs 9 (23.1%)). Non-survivors had severe inflammatory response, and cardiac, hepatic, renal and coagulation impairment. Finally, the Kaplan-Meier survival curve showed a trend towards poorer survival in patients with severe covid-19 with diabetes than patients without diabetes. The HR was 1.53 (95% CI 1.02 to 2.30; p=0.041) after adjustment for age, sex, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular disease by Cox regression. The median survival durations from hospital admission in patients with severe covid-19 with and without diabetes were 10 days and 18 days, respectively.

Conclusion The mortality rate in patients with severe covid-19 with diabetes is considerable. Diabetes may lead to an increase in the risk of death.

  • adult diabetes

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  • Contributors Author Contributions: KD, YoY, XY and YaY conceived the research and participated in the study design. YoY, FW, HR, SZ and XS assisted in collecting the data. YoY, FW and KD analyzed the data. KD and YoY drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81600661).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study design and protocol were approved by the Ethics Committee of the Tongji Hospital of Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (ID: TJ-IRB20200315).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request.

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