Having diabetes doubles the risk of death as a result of a novel coronavirus infection, according to research published on Thursday in The Lancet, a British medical journal.
According to the journal article, "the vulnerability of people with diabetes during a public health emergency became evident by their at least 2 times increased risk of severe disease or death" after contracting the virus.
"Individuals with poorly controlled diabetes, comorbidities, or both" are "especially" vulnerable to Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, doctors and scientists from countries including Australia, China, South Africa and the United States found.
According to official data put together by Johns Hopkins University, almost 1.3 million people have died after catching the virus.
Official data show over 52 million infections, though the World Health Organization said in October that the real number could be over 700 million.
Health care cuts
The pandemic prompted dozens of countries to impose restrictions, cutting back on non-coronavirus health care in the first half the year and inflicting what the researchers labelled "a heavy toll on health care systems and the global economy."
The researchers described as "staggering" the "global burden of diabetes," with an estimated 463 million adults affected in 2019.
Some 4.2 million people died last year "as a result of the condition and its complications," according to the research team, which includes academics from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Imperial College London.