Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Patients With Diabetes Admitted for COVID-19 Treatment in Dubai: Single-Centre Cross-Sectional Study
Khamis, Amar Hassan
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Background: Recent studies have shown that diabetes is a major risk factor that contributes to the severity of COVID-19 and resulting mortality. Poor glycemic control is also associated with poor patient outcomes (eg, hospitalization and death). Objective: This study aimed to describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with diabetes who were admitted to our hospital for COVID-19 treatment. Methods: This cross-sectional, observational study comprised patients with diabetes admitted with COVID-19 to Mediclinic Parkview Hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from March 30 to June 7, 2020. We studied the differences among characteristics, length of hospital stay, diabetes status, comorbidities, treatments, and outcomes among these patients. Results: Of the cohort patients, 25.1% (103/410) had coexistent diabetes or prediabetes. These patients represented 17 different ethnicities, with 59.2% (61/103) from Asian countries and 35% (36/103) from Arab countries. Mean patient age was 54 (SD 12.5) years, and 66.9% (69/103) of patients were male. Moreover, 85.4% (88/103) of patients were known to have diabetes prior to admission, and 14.6% (15/103) were newly diagnosed with either diabetes or prediabetes at admission. Most cohort patients had type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, and only 2.9% (3/103) of all patients had type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, 44.6% (46/103) of patients demonstrated evidence suggesting good glycemic control during the 4-12 weeks prior to admission, as defined arbitrarily by admission hemoglobin A1 level <7.5%, and 73.8% (76/103) of patients had other comorbidities, including hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and dyslipidemia. Laboratory data (mean and SD values) at admission for patients who needed ward-based care versus those who needed intensive care were as follows: fibrinogen, 462.8 (SD 125.1) mg/dL vs 660.0 (SD 187.6) mg/dL; Ddimer, 0.7 (SD 0.5) μg/mL vs 2.3 (SD 3.5) μg/mL; ferritin, 358.0 (SD 442.0) mg/dL vs 1762.4 (SD 2586.4) mg/dL; and C reactive protein, 33.9 (SD 38.6) mg/L vs 137.0 (SD 111.7) mg/L. Laboratory data were all significantly higher for patients in the intensive care unit subcohort (P<.05). The average length of hospital stay was 14.55 days for all patients, with 28.2% (29/103) of patients requiring intensive care. In all, 4.9% (5/103) died during hospitalization—all of whom were in the intensive care unit. Conclusions: Majority of patients with diabetes or prediabetes and COVID-19 had other notable comorbidities. Only 4 patients tested negative for COVID-19 RT-PCR but showed pathognomonic changes of COVID-19 radiologically. Laboratory analyses revealed distinct abnormal patterns of biomarkers that were associated with a poor prognosis: fibrinogen, D dimer, ferritin, and C-reactive protein levels were all significantly higher at admission in patients who subsequently needed intensive care than in those who needed ward-based care. More studies with larger sample sizes are needed to compare data of COVID-19 patients admitted with and without diabetes within the UAE region.