COVID-19’s Impact on Diabetes

Around 40% of the people who have died in the US from COVID-19 has diabetes.

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Around 40% of the people who have died in the US from COVID-19 has diabetes.

Audrey Rivero, Reporter

COVID-19 has had drastic changes in the medical landscape, one such impact being the evermore present diabetes issue. In 2021 alone, 1 in 10 global cases of death have been related to the diabetes pandemic. A pandemic is defined as a global issue in matters of disease, and diabetes hits that point without fail.

Diabetes is a metabolic issue where the body is incapable of producing insulin, causing the body to have abnormally high blood sugar levels. COVID-19 has played a hand in that statistic, however, as some studies have shown that type 1 and type 2 diabetes triples the severity and death toll of COVID. According to Dr. Robert Gabbay, chief scientific for the American Diabetes Association, “as many as 40% of the people that have died in the US from COVID-19 has diabetes.”

Another set of studies found that roughly 14% of people who have been hospitalized with severe cases of COVID-19 have developed diabetes. Whether or not this means that diabetes can result from the virus itself has sparked a debate in the scientific community, and the evidence for both sides remain inconclusive. Although the world currently is at a 1 to 10 ratio of diabetes case per full-grown adult, this number is expected to rise to a 1 to 8 ratio by 2024.

A large argument against this notion is that the patients had already had diabetes prior to their hospitalization, and simply had their bodies pushed too far, now making the disease far more apparent. However, there is a sizable amount of evidence for this as well, studies varying from multiple sources, arguing that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID) can attack the pancreas, the organ responsible for insulin production.

Although the evidence leans heavily towards the notion that diabetes is a serious risk in reliance to COVID, the argument still requires further testing to be a certified fact.