Cause-and-effect may be unclear at this point, but an article just published by The New York Times makes it very clear that people with diabetes are more likely than many others to experience serious consequences with COVID-19. While, again, cause-and-effect has not been established, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that deaths from diabetes-related causes rose 15% in 2020, during the peak of the pandemic in the U.S. And the Times piece noted that up to 40% of COVID deaths in this country have occurred in people with diabetes. That article also suggested that lifestyle changes brought on by the pandemic, such as changes in diet and exercise habits, may be contributing to an increase in incidence of diabetes among Americans. All told, this information should be a call to action for urgent care providers. Ensure that patients with diabetes are aware of the importance of both protecting themselves as much as possible from COVID-19 infection and following self-care practices with diabetes. This might also be a good time to review an article JUCM published on that subject. Diabetes Mellitus: Current Diagnosis, Screening and Management Issues in Urgent Care is available in our archive.

The Toll of COVID-19 Keeps Getting More Complicated—Including New Insights on Diabetes