Diabetes increases the risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19

More and more people with diabetes, a disease places those who suffer from it “at a greater risk of suffering serious diseases or dying from COVID-19,” said this Saturday the General secretary of the United Nations in his message to the World Diabetes Day.

António Guterres pointed out that despite numerous efforts to prevent and treat it, diabetes fast forward, especially “in low- and middle-income countries, which are precisely the worst equipped in terms of diagnostic tools, medicines and the knowledge necessary to provide vital treatments.”

According to World Health Organization, from 1980 to 2014, the number of adult diabetics increased from 108 to 422 million, that is, the rate of affectation to the adult population globally increased from 4.7% to 8.5% during this period.

These figures reflect the increase in risk factors associated with diabetes, such as the being overweight or obese.

Diabetes is one of the main causes of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, cerebrovascular accident and amputation of the lower limbs. And the COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional pain to those who require regular care and treatment and have difficulty accessing therapies for their condition.

© OMS / Quinn Mattingly

Hoa lives in Vietnam, is 68 years old and diabetic, these are the medicines she takes daily.

Hope ahead

A healthy diet, physical activity and not smoking they can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, previously called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes, the UN noted.

In addition, the disease can be treated and its consequences can be avoided or delayed with medication, regular screening and treatment of complications.

Next year, WHO will launch the Global Compact Against Diabetes, “A new initiative that will bring structure and coherence to joint efforts to reduce the burden of diabetes,” said the Secretary-General.

“Let’s work together to ensure that, through this ambitious and necessary collaboration, we soon talk about diabetes decline as public health problem”He added.


In Africa, about 20% of deaths from COVID-19 are related to diabetes, according to WHO data.

Nursing staff

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2020 is “Nursing staff and diabetes” and it aims to raise awareness of the critical role of these health professionals in supporting people living with diabetes.

These workers, who currently represent more than half of the world’s health workforceThey also help people living with a wide range of health problems.

Diabetics face a number of challenges that are additional or different than other people, so training nurses to help them is vital.

“As we strive to overcome the pandemic, let us do everything we can to ensure the Universal Health Coverage, strengthen health systems and promote good health and resilience for all, ”concluded Guterres.

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