Diabetes has been found to increase severity and mortality under the current pandemic of coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19). Up to date, the clinical characteristics of diabetes patients with COVID-19 and the risk factors for poor clinical outcomes are not clearly understood.
The study was retrospectively carried out on enrolled diabetes patients with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infection from a designated medical center for COVID-19 from January 25th, 2020 to February 14th, 2020 in Wuhan, China. The medical record was collected and reviewed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to assess the risk factors associated with the severe events which were defined as a composite endpoint of admission to intensive care unit, the use of mechanical ventilation, or death.
A total of 52 diabetes patients with COVID-19 were finally included in the study. 21 (40.4%) patients had developed severe events in 27.50 (IQR 12.25–35.75) days follow-up, 15 (28.8%) patients experienced life-threatening complications and 8 patients died with a recorded mortality rate of 15.4%. Only 13 patients (41.9%) were in optimal glycemic control with HbA1c value of <7.0%. In addition to general clinical characteristics of COVID-19, the severe events diabetes patients showed higher counts of white blood cells and neutrophil, lower lymphocytes (40, 76.9%), high levels of hs-CRP, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and procalcitonin (PCT) as compared to the non-severe diabetes patients. Mild higher level of cardiac troponin I (cTNI) (32.0 pg/ml; IQR 16.80–55.00) and D-dimer (1.70 μg/L, IQR 0.70–2.40) were found in diabetes patients with severe events as compared to the non-severe patients (cTNI:20.00 pg/ml, IQR5.38–30.00,
= 0.019; D-dimer: 0.70 μg/L, IQR 0.30–2.40,
= 0.037). After adjusting age and sex, increased level of cTNI was found to significantly associate with the incidence of severe events (HR: 1.007; 95% CI: 1.000–1.013;
= 0.048), Furthermore, using of α-glucosidase inhibitors was found to be the potential protectant for severe events (HR: 0.227; 95% CI: 0.057–0.904;
Diabetes patients with COVID-19 showed poor clinical outcomes. Vigorous monitoring of cTNI should be recommended for the diabetes patients with COVID-19. Usage of α-glucosidase inhibitors could be a potential protectant for the diabetes patients with COVID-19.