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COVID-19 and Patients with Diabetes

The spread of the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19) has reached pandemic proportions and represents a threat for increased morbidity and mortality, which is particularly observed in older persons and in people with co-morbidities such as overt diabetes, obesity and hypertension.

The high incidence of diabetes throughout the world makes this particularly concerning as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses.

Emerging information suggest that individuals with diabetes are at increased risk for complications including death.

To date, there have been only limited experimental studies directly addressing the role of hyperglycemia in the pathogenesis and prognosis of viral respiratory diseases. However, it has been shown that elevated blood glucose levels can directly increase glucose concentrations in airway secretion.

Collectively, experimental data support the notion that glycemic control can have beneficial effects on clinical outcomes in patients with coexistent diabetes and viral respiratory diseases such as COVID-19. However, there are a number of challenges that arise with regard to optimal metabolic control.

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