New Study Links Higher Blood Sugar to COVID-19 Death Risk

The latest study as reported by Reuters has revealed that high blood sugar may portend a rocky course for COVID-19 patients who seek hospital care, even if they do not have diabetes.

The research was done on 11,000 coronavirus patients in Spain. None were critically ill when they got to the hospital. But researchers found those who arrived with above-normal blood sugar levels had higher odds of dying there – regardless of whether they were diabetic.

Overall, 20 percent of the patients died while hospitalized, including 16 percent of individuals with blood sugar below 140 milligrams per deciliter at admission, 34 percent of those with levels of 140 to 180 mg/dL, and 41 percent of patients with levels above 180 mg/dL. (A level of 200 mg/dL or higher indicates diabetes.)

After taking age and medical conditions into account, patients with the highest levels were 50 percent more likely to die in the hospital than patients with the lowest levels.

People with elevated blood sugar were also at higher risk of needing intensive care and mechanical breathing assistance.

In a report published on Tuesday in Annals of Medicine, the researchers say prompt control of blood sugar should be mandatory in the management of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, regardless of whether they have diabetes.

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