Many people with diabetes have reacted to yesterday's news that 25% of people who died from Covid-19 in UK hospitals also had diabetes. This is both understandable and scary, but it is not really unexpected.

Let me try to explain. I am T2, a scientist and I have been following what the epidemiologists and statisticians are learning about Covid. For example we are being told the daily death tolls. According to this 34,000 people have died in the UK from Covid by today 15 May. However, this number includes the deaths in hospitals, but not all deaths in care homes and at home. This number can be calculated by comparing the total number of deaths in the UK with the long-term average and sadly by 1 May there have already been 50,000 excess deaths in the UK
. These deaths are mostly due to Covid.

A few days ago I found a paper by the group of Ben Goldacre, https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.06.20092999v1. It studies the in-hospital deaths by potential risk factors. For diabetes they find the following. For the group with "controlled Diabetes", defined as HbA1c<58 mmol/mol) the risk of death was between 1.40 and 1.60 times that of non-diabetics.

For the group with "uncontrolled diabetes" defined as HbA1c>=58 mmol/mol the risk of death was between 2.18 and 2.56 times that of non-diabetics. For the group with no recent Hb1Ac measure the risk was between 1.63 and 2.16 that of non-diabetics.

In summary, depending on the severity of our diabetes the risk of death is a factor 1.5 to 2.5 higher than for non-diabetics.

In the UK almost 4 million people or 6% of the population are diagnosed with diabetes. While diabetes is increasing in younger people, we know that the rate is higher for elderly people and is probably at least twice that high (12%) in the over 65 age group. We now need to multiply this number with the 1.5 to 2.5 and can estimate that between 18% and 30% of people who died from Covid also had diabetes. This is in agreement with yesterdays announcement of 25%.

If you have other questions on the science of Covid, please feel free to ask on this thread and I'll try to answer these.

update 20 May: In this thread in post #96 I discuss the latest paper by the group of Jonathan Valabhji, see the direct link Covid/Coronavirus and diabetes - the numbers

Let me try to explain. I am T2, a scientist and I have been following what the epidemiologists and statisticians are learning about Covid. For example we are being told the daily death tolls. According to this 34,000 people have died in the UK from Covid by today 15 May. However, this number includes the deaths in hospitals, but not all deaths in care homes and at home. This number can be calculated by comparing the total number of deaths in the UK with the long-term average and sadly by 1 May there have already been 50,000 excess deaths in the UK

A few days ago I found a paper by the group of Ben Goldacre, https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.06.20092999v1. It studies the in-hospital deaths by potential risk factors. For diabetes they find the following. For the group with "controlled Diabetes", defined as HbA1c<58 mmol/mol) the risk of death was between 1.40 and 1.60 times that of non-diabetics.

For the group with "uncontrolled diabetes" defined as HbA1c>=58 mmol/mol the risk of death was between 2.18 and 2.56 times that of non-diabetics. For the group with no recent Hb1Ac measure the risk was between 1.63 and 2.16 that of non-diabetics.

In summary, depending on the severity of our diabetes the risk of death is a factor 1.5 to 2.5 higher than for non-diabetics.

In the UK almost 4 million people or 6% of the population are diagnosed with diabetes. While diabetes is increasing in younger people, we know that the rate is higher for elderly people and is probably at least twice that high (12%) in the over 65 age group. We now need to multiply this number with the 1.5 to 2.5 and can estimate that between 18% and 30% of people who died from Covid also had diabetes. This is in agreement with yesterdays announcement of 25%.

If you have other questions on the science of Covid, please feel free to ask on this thread and I'll try to answer these.

update 20 May: In this thread in post #96 I discuss the latest paper by the group of Jonathan Valabhji, see the direct link Covid/Coronavirus and diabetes - the numbers

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