Dissecting the interaction between COVID-19 and diabetes mellitus.

Journal of diabetes investigation. 2020;11(5):1104-1114
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Several countries have reported higher death rates and more severe cases of covid-19 amongst individuals with chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. This review of 100 papers aimed to investigate the interconnecting factors which may contribute to poorer prognosis in individuals with covid-19 and type 2 diabetes. Although the evidence suggests that patients with type 2 diabetes have poorer outcomes after contracting covid-19, they are not more susceptible to infection. The paper reported that mechanisms which may increase severity in type 2 diabetics are abnormal immune function, increased susceptibility to inflammation, the increased adherence of the virus to target cells and reduced ability to fight infection. It is important to manage blood sugars when suffering from covid-19. The paper reviewed the use of several medications such as metformin, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP4), glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists and insulin in the context of individuals suffering from covid-19, with insulin being the treatment of choice in the acutely ill patient. Current treatments of covid-19 were also reviewed such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir-ritonavir, IL-6 receptor agonists, type 1 interferon and remdesivir. It was concluded that clinicians should be aware of the risks in patients with type 2 diabetes and covid-19. However as new data is made available, the chronic and long-term implications will become clearer. This study could be used by health care professionals to ensure that patients with type 2 diabetes do everything they can to avoid covid-19 infection and that if contracted these patients are closely monitored for severe disease.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that is caused by a novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2. Data from several countries have shown higher morbidity and mortality among individuals with chronic metabolic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus. In this review, we explore the contributing factors for poorer prognosis in these individuals. As a significant proportion of patients with COVID-19 also have diabetes mellitus, this adds another layer of complexity to their management. We explore potential interactions between antidiabetic medications and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors with COVID-19. Suggested recommendations for the use of antidiabetic medications for COVID-19 patients with diabetes mellitus are provided. We also review pertinent clinical considerations in the management of diabetic ketoacidosis in COVID-19 patients. In addition, we aim to increase clinicians' awareness of the metabolic effects of promising drug therapies for COVID-19. Finally, we highlight the importance of timely vaccinations for patients with diabetes mellitus.

Lifestyle medicine

Patient Centred Factors : Mediators/Type 2 diabetes
Environmental Inputs : Diet
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Not applicable
Functional Laboratory Testing : Not applicable

Methodological quality

Jadad score : Not applicable
Allocation concealment : Not applicable
Publication Type : Journal Article ; Review