1) How do you think Covid-19 and diabetes are connected?
Chances of diabetic patients to get infected with Covid-19 are almost similar to normal population but the main problem is that if a diabetic patient gets infected, they would be having more severe illness as compared to a non-diabetic patient. The reason behind is that a diabetic patient may have poor blood glucose control, may be older in age and may have multiple co-morbid conditions. COVID-19 infection gets more severe in such patients due to less immunity, fluctuating blood glucose and poor lifestyle measures.
2) What makes diabetic patients prone to coronavirus?
It has been seen in different countries which are facing epidemic of Covid-19 infection, the death rate in diabetic population due to Covid-19 complications is nearly 7%. If we consider the reports of the patients, who have cardiovascular disease, the death rate is nearly 10%. So, if there is an elderly diabetic patient with hypertension or heart problems, the chances of getting hospitalized and mortality will be more. Some diabetic patients may have kidney disease also. So, in these patients the chances of getting severity of the illness would be more.
3) India is having the highest number of diabetic patients. How many people are likely to die of covid-19?
This question is difficult to answer because now we are in a lockdown period and the infection rate is controllable. So, once this lockdown gets lifted, we have to see how the infection spreads. We have almost 10 percent of the population suffering from diabetes. Out of the total number of patients who are getting infected with Covid-19, approximately 5 to 10 percent patients would be diabetic and again the death rate would be more in the diabetic patient because they have multiple comorbidities. If a diabetic patient is young and doesn’t have any other co-morbidity, the chances of getting a severe infection are less.
4) How has been the statistics in diabetic patients in other parts of world, where covid-19 has killed 1000 patients?
The death rate in diabetic patients with Covid-19 infection is nearly 7 percent because in these patients the chances of getting severe infection and hospitalization are more. Many of these patients need ventilator support.
5) Which are the study going on and study released till now for diabetes and covid-19?
Almost all the countries are evaluating such patients and they are coming up with their observational studies. Regarding diabetes, there has been controversy related to drugs which we call as ACE inhibitors or ARBs, which are used to control hypertension in diabetic patients. So, there are few studies in which patients who are on ACE inhibitors or ARBshad less chances of getting COVID-19 complications and mortalitybut in other studies, results are opposite. So, there are many studies which are ongoing. The main thing is we all are looking at the effective treatment of covid-19 and a vaccine which will help in controlling the infection. For a diabetic patient, one has to be extra-cautious with the guidelines suggested by the WHO for prevention of Covid-19 and should consult there doctor if blood glucose is not well under control.