Nearly half of people with type 1 diabetes who had become infected with COVID-19 had high blood glucose levels, researchers have said.

The American team wanted to further investigate how coronavirus might impact people with autoimmune condition.

This is because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that people with diabetes are at a higher risk of becoming severely unwell by COVID-19 should they become infected.

In the group of 33 people who had a confirmed case of COVID-19, the researchers found that 48.5 per cent had high blood glucose, 45.5 per cent had a high temperature and 39.4 per cent had a dry cough.

Other symptoms included tiredness (33.3 per cent), vomiting (33.3 per cent), shortness of breath (30.3 per cent), nausea (30.2 per cent), body ache or headaches (21.2 per cent) and less that 15 per cent said they experienced chills, chest pain, loose stools, abdominal pain, loss of taste, and loss of smell.

Aside from COVID-19, the research team also identified several other health issues, that many of the participants had in common, with obesity being the most prevalent at 39.4 per cent and 12.1per cent of the confirmed COVID cases had high blood pressure. Nearly one-third of the patients developed Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

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The research team also looked at 31 people with type 1 diabetes who appeared to show COVID-19 symptoms but had not been tested and confirmed for the virus.

The symptoms among these people was very similar to those who had tested positive for the infection.

The researchers are now calling for further studies that would help people to further understand the risk factors that are linked to the clinical course of COVID-19 among those with type 1 diabetes.

The study entitled ‘Type 1 Diabetes and COVID-19: Preliminary Findings From a Multicenter Surveillance Study in the US’ has been published in the Diabetes Care journal.

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