Are people with diabetes more severely affected by COVID-19?

People with diabetes have remained extra cautious by following the social distancing norms, and other precautionary measures to keep themselves safe from COVID-19. Although they know that maintaining good blood sugar levels and staying active is their best defense, the rising concerns around the morbidity of people affected by the virus have alarmed those with diabetes.

According to a study conducted by Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology mining 61 million COVID-19 patient records in the UK, they found it that over 30% of COVID-19-related deaths occurred in people with diabetes.

Diabetes and COVID-19 Infection

COVID-19 can cause severe illness. Apart from the usual symptoms like coughing, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, etc it can also bring irregulation of other diseases. People with co-morbidities like diabetes, cardiovascular problems, neurological disorders, high blood pressure, etc stand a risk of being severely affected by the virus as the infection is known to cause disruptions in body functioning. With blood oxygen levels dropped, and the immune system affected, one’s body may find it tough to fight the virus.

What are the statistics saying?

Many studies have opined that people with diabetes have a 50% higher risk of a fatal outcome than others. In these type 1 diabetes has a greater risk as compared to type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. According to a study of 173 patients with severe disease, about 16.2% had diabetes. There seems to be a two-fold increase in the number of patients in intensive care who have diabetes.


What complications could occur?

Viral infections like COVID-19 can cause serious implications for type 1 and type 2 diabetes types. As a stress response to the infection, people with diabetes are likely to experience a rise in glucose levels resulting in high blood sugar levels. Sudden spikes and high blood sugar levels can be dangerous for individuals. As a result, one may require an extra insulin dose for diabetes treatment.

While COVID-19 is a big health concern for people of all ages, gender, and health concerns – those with co-morbidities, especially diabetes, are likely to suffer more due to the infection affecting their immune system more rapidly than others. The only measure to fight through the concern as of now remains in following the safety protocols and maintaining hygiene and safety around.

People with diabetes can follow simple measures to stay healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak. Taking proper care of diet, getting regular exercise even if you are at home, regularly monitoring your blood glucose levels as well as taking your medication on time is enough to keep your diabetes well managed. Managing your diabetes well can reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.

Preparation is the key

The key to getting early and proper medical attention is some preparation from your side if you have diabetes:

1. Keep the phone numbers of your doctor and your nearest pharmacy handy. Other family members should also be aware of these.
2. List of your current medications and doses should also be well documented and shared with your family.
3. Have enough stock of your oral medications or insulin at home in case you cannot step out.
4. Keep glucose test strips in stock to monitor your blood glucose in case of highs and lows.
5. Know which pharmacies have a home delivery option.
6. Always keep simple carbs handy in case you are susceptible to low blood glucose levels.

Remember, staying on top of your condition is primarily in your hands.

Diet, exercise, regular monitoring, and adherence to medication are important factors in diabetes management. Empower yourself to live better with diabetes and take the pledge today to be #MoreThanMyDiabetes.

Also Read: How changes in nutrition can help in maintaining blood sugar levels.


The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi India. Sanofi India bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.

Study References

  2. Guan WJ, Ni ZY, Hu Y, et al. Clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 in China. N Engl J Med. 2020; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2002032.


Ruchi Verma

Certified parenting teen practitioner, multiple Award winner, mother of two active kids believes in sharing the right source of information to readers which could help them in every possible way!!

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  1. Very well explained.i am the primary care giver at my place and these are helpful pointers

  2. You have shared details on a very important aspect. Thanks for this informative article.

  3. Recently,I came to know about a few people back home, who are diabetic and got affected by covid. Information is the key in this scenario. And we should not undermine any important information.

  4. Yes diabetes is a serious metabolic disorder and during this hard time of pandemic it is very important that diabetic patients take extra care. You had listed all precautionary measures so well in this post.

  5. This is a really informative and useful post. My mom is diabetic and I have read this very carefully keeping her in mind. Keep sharing more about Diabetes.

  6. Hi Ruchi, these are indeed very helpful points.
    I will keep them in mind. thank you!

  7. I was also wondering what is the connection between Covid and diabetes. The details shared by you have made many of my doubts clear.

  8. this is very informative.. thank you for your pointers.. these are important details which are overlooked most of the time

  9. This post was loaded with information. Many of my diabetic patients come with this query and as you rightly said “preparation is the key”

  10. Very good to know how to handle a diabetic. Those in need will surely benefit from reading this post. With the tips you have given it will make it easier for the care giver too.

  11. Such a insightful and information post Ruchi, my FIL is a diabetic and I am surely going to share thid information with him and other people I know who are suffering too. You have given some great tips too.

  12. Oh yes Diabetes is such an important comorbidity for COVID 19.

  13. Yes, people with diabetes need to extra cautious in this time period.

  14. That’s very informative read. Truly agree that diabetic are more at risk for COVID 19, but with proper approach it can be managed well

  15. Stress is one of the main reasons for increased sugar levels and fear of the pandemic is surely going to be a trigger. Good tips for precautions to be taken.

  16. Diabetes is a serious health issue and covid can easily affect the diabetic so its very imp to take care n be safe. I’ve knw a few diabetic people who fell prey to covid.

  17. This is a good reference article I think the number of people who are at risk is increasing and it is important to take all precautions and be prepared and preferably avoid any kind of problems

  18. Thanks for such a well detailed post on the topic. Both my parents are diabetics and due to this pandemic we are being very careful with their health.

  19. I didnt know this..thanks for all the information. My husband was diabetic and so were his parents.I am really worried about my kids being affected. You have shared very worthy points on diabetes and Covid relation

  20. This is an issue which most of the family is affected by and the biggest role is of the caregiver glad to know about these tips and ideas to help the ones who have diabetes

  21. Precaution is all we can do to fight this virus. Risk is surely more for diabetic. Thanks for informative post.

  22. This is such a helpful post. I am taking away some of the suggestions as my dad is diabetic.

  23. Diabetic and cardiac patients are on the verge of an anxiety attack due to Covid. Your tips are much helpful. Many people would be benefitted.

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