Diabetes has been identified as a risk factor for severe coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19), although it is unclear if this risk is consistent across all age groups. The purpose of this study was to look at the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes in hospitalised patients with and without diabetes based on their age. Researchers conducted a retrospective observational cohort analysis of 6314 consecutive COVID-19 patients hospitalised in the Paris metropolitan region, France, between February and 30 June 2020; follow-up was documented through 30 September 2020. After adjusting for confounding factors and age groups, the main result was a composite outcome of death and orotracheal intubation in individuals with diabetes vs those without diabetes. Diabetes was found in 39% of the patients. The main result was greater in patients with diabetes, regardless of confounding factors, and rose with age in persons without diabetes, from 23% for those 50 to 35% for those >80 years, but reached a plateau in those with diabetes after 70 years. Diabetes-associated risk was inversely related to age in a direct comparison of individuals with and without diabetes, peaking at 50 years and remaining comparable after 70 years. Similarly, diabetes patients had a higher death rate (26%) than non-diabetics, although the adjusted HR for diabetes was significant only in individuals under the age of 50.
Diabetes should be regarded as an independent risk factor for the severity of COVID-19 in young persons more than in older ones, particularly in people under the age of 70.