Coronavirus Risk to Diabetics by Age

I just wanted to make a topic to ease people’s minds. I’ve seen this question asked a few times on here: “They say us diabetics are at a higher risk once we get the Coronavirus, but what if we aren’t a member of the aging population?”

The answer seems to be, diabetics are 1.59 times as likely to (be) hospitalized or ventilated or pass away than healthy individuals of the same age

Just multiply your age range percentage from the chart linked to in the article by 1.59.

20’s and 30’s diabetics: 1.59 x .2% = .318% or about 1 in 325 chance

40’s diabetics 1.59 x .4%

And so on…full chart in this article


Gosh, this didn’t ease my mind at all. I am 69, Type 1, and have heart disease. Now I am actually getting scared.


Mind you, this is a study from China, where they had a very bad emergency at the outset, so even their 3.4% death rate overall was probably inflated compared to a country that handles it well, like South Korea for instance, where they are seeing like .7% rate. In the USA I think our state and local governments will do a great job in many cases but the federal gov is…well not encouraging. I also think every case is different so…

By the way, I think germany has gone well over 1k cases without any death at all. That is for ALL ages and conditions.


Maybe this approach is why, rather than head-in-the-sand…

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A general thing is that this virus, like SAARS to which it is closely related, goes into a second phase that triggers a hyper-active immune response, a.k.a. “cytokine storm,” that actually ends up doing more damage than the original virus. So that’s one reason why those of us whose immune systems have already demonstrated a tendency toward overreaction (bye bye islet cells) are considered to be at particular risk.


Not sure I understand. In a similar fashion to the flu? Do you mean after we recover? I’m a type 1

From what I am seeing the risk is 1.59 times as great if you are a diabetic vs a normal person to require hospitalization. Frankly, that seems to be a heartening statistic, because outside of the very elderly, number is going to be tiny. Like 1/3 of 1%

Is this actually correct? Couldn’t this additional risk depend on age as well? E.g. that the multiplication factor is 1.9 for diabetics in their 70s and 1.2 for diabetics in their 20s and so on, with an average of 1.59.

No, not like the flu. Cytokine storms can occur when your body is trying to fight the virus, so before recovery. Basically, the immune system is going into overdrive and causing lots of damage, if not properly treated. That’s very dangerous. An infamous example is a clinical trial with a new drug about 15 years ago. A couple of volunteers were administered this new drug and got life-threatening adverse reactions due to a cytokine storm.

I’m sure that is accounted for in the 1.59 additional risk factor as the risk factor is for hospitalization and ventilation need and death combined.

Seems like they are treating age as it’s own multiplier and diabetes status as a constant.

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Is there a proper treatment for this?

No…it’s a virus. You treat it like the flu…just the symptoms. Control your blood sugar and behave like a normal person if you get it. Hydrate, rest, eat. Repeat.

I don’t for the life of me know what you guys mean about a cytokine overload…how would that manifest in this case? Also, that seems like heavy speculation.@katers87

Seems like younger or middle age diabetics simply have a 60% greater chance of it going severe if you do have it. I can live with that if the number for my age group is .2% for healthy individuals

Actually, I don’t know how this is treated.

That’s diaTribe’s assumption, but I wonder if that assumption is correct.

Most of the reported deaths in people with diabetes had Type 2 diabetes, were older and had heart and/or lung disease.

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I didn’t speculate anything. I asked a question.

there were no reports about this sort of extreme reaction, to my knowledge. As I say above,

Most of the reported deaths in people with diabetes had Type 2 diabetes, were older and had heart and/or lung disease.

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Most people with diabetes have type 2 anyway so this says nothing about the risk for people with type 1.

Well they are telling you that the ones that died were 1. Older 2. Type 2 3. Had multiple other conditions.

Also, while the Nat Geo article is scary, the numbers in the diatribe article come from the best study we have at the moment and seem to me to be the best indicator of the added risk percentage for people with diabetes, which looks to be a 59% increase in risk or hospitalization or worse.

Is that not a bit heartening?