COVID implications for diabetics

COVID-19, Obesity and Diabetes: The Implications

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Quite understandably there has been a lot of attention on COVID-19, its symptoms and how we minimise its impact. As the death toll from COVID is coming under control and ‘all-cause’ mortality in the country is back at, or even below, normal levels, attention is turning to the wider implications of lockdown on the nation’s health.

There have been many reports in the press about the mental health cost and only last week the consequences of delayed cancer diagnosis and treatment were brought into focus.

Many of our obese patients are concerned about or already suffering from diabetes. We were concerned about the impact of lockdown on diabetes treatment as there has been little reporting on this subject. We worry that diabetics may have been more reluctant to seek treatment and/or that routine clinics have been cancelled.

Then, just last week, we found a publication from Italy that addressed this subject and confirmed our worst fears.

As a practice, we believe that there is too little attention to diabetes. It is a horrible disease and those who are morbidly obese are at very high risk from type 2 Diabetes.

The new publication was published on Medscape on 7th August and provided data from Italy during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. It looked at patients with diabetic foot ulceration (DFU) and contrasted their outcomes with a similar group from a similar period in 2019. It showed that DFU patients had suffered ‘mightily’ during lockdown.

Rates of amputations rocketed as more patients presented to hospital with gangrene.

The problem seems to be that during lockdown wound care clinics were either closed or fewer people attended them with the result that chronic wounds remained open.

The study showed that amputation was three times more likely in 2020 (during the coronavirus lockdown) than it was in early 2019.

If you are overweight or obese and worried about the risks of COVID or diabetes, or any of the other health problems associated with your weight, please seek treatment. Your family doctor is often a good place to start. Alternatively, our team will be pleased to talk to you about the treatment options available to you.

Last review: 17/08/2020. All content on this page is reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team lead by Mr Rishi Singhal.

Picture of Martyn Berrett

Martyn Berrett

Martyn is the former MD of Healthier Weight. Throughout his tenure he observed many bariatric procedures and took part in several research projects so has a unique perspective on all things weight loss.

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