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Covid-19 patients with abnormally high blood sugar are at an increased risk of severe complications and more than twice as likely to face death, say researchers.

Previous studies have established that hyperglycaemia (abnormally high blood sugar) is associated with an elevated risk of mortality in community-acquired pneumonia, stroke, heart attacks, trauma and surgery, among other conditions.

However, a direct correlation between fasting blood glucose (FBG) level at admission to hospital and clinical outcomes of Covid-19 patients without diagnosed diabetes has not been well established.

“This study shows, for the first time, that elevated FBG at admission is independently associated with increased 28-day mortality and percentages of in-hospital complications in Covid-19 patients without a previous diagnosis of diabetes,” the study authors from Huazhong University in China, mentioned.

For the findings, published in the journal Diabetologia, the research team examined the association between FBG on admission and the 28-day mortality of Covid-19 patients without previously diagnosed diabetes in two hospitals.

The retrospective study assessed all consecutive Covid-19 patients with a known outcome at 28-days and FBG measurement at admission from January 24 to February 10 in two hospitals based in Wuhan, China.

Demographic and clinical data, 28-day outcomes, in-hospital complications and CRB-65 scores of Covid-19 patients in the two hospitals were analysed.

The CRB-65 score is an effective measure for assessing the severity of pneumonia and is based on four indicators: level of confusion, respiratory rate, systolic blood pressure or diastolic blood pressure, and age.

A total of 605 Covid-19 patients were enrolled, including 114 who died in hospital.

The results showed that patients in the highest FBG group were 2.3 times more likely to die than those in the lowest, a statistically significant result.

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