People with diabetes and eye diseases have a five-times higher risk of requiring intubation if they are hospitalized with COVID-19, the authors of a new study, published in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, point out.
The study from King’s College London, UK, investigated 187 people with diabetes hospitalized due to COVID-19 at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust between March 12 and April 7, 2020. Diabetic retinopathy was reported in 67 patients.
The researchers concluded that retinopathy was associated with five times greater risk of intubation. At the same time, no association was observed between retinopathy and mortality.
Researchers concluded that retinopathy was associated with a five-times higher risk of intubation. At the same time, no association between retinopathy and mortality was observed.
“This is the first time that retinopathy has been linked to severe COVID-19 in people with diabetes. Retinopathy is a marker of damage to the blood vessels and our results suggest that such pre-existing damage to blood vessels may result in a more severe COVID-19 infection requiring intensive care treatment,” said lead study author Dr Antonella Corcillo, cited by Eurekalert.
According to the authors, there is growing evidence of significant damage to blood vessels in the lung and other organs in hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19.
The scientists hope their research will result in increased awareness of those most at risk for serious complications from COVID-19.