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Wander PL, Lowy E, Beste LA, Tulloch-Palomino L, Korpak A, Peterson AC, Young BA, Boyko EJ. Risk factors for adverse outcomes among 35 879 veterans with and without diabetes after diagnosis with COVID-19. BMJ open diabetes research & care. 2021 Jun 1; 9(1).
INTRODUCTION: Risk factors and mediators of associations of diabetes with COVID-19 outcomes are unclear. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We identified all veterans receiving Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare with = 1 positive nasal swab for SARS-CoV-2 (28 February-31 July 2020; n = 35 879). We assessed associations of diabetes (with and without insulin use) with hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, or death at 30 days, and with hazard of death until the censoring date. Among participants with diabetes (n = 13 863), we examined associations of hemoglobin A1c and antihyperglycemic medication use with COVID-19 outcomes. We estimated mediation between diabetes and outcomes by comorbidities (cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease), statin or ACE inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) use, and cardiac biomarkers (brain natriuretic peptide and troponin). RESULTS: Diabetes with and without insulin use was associated with greater odds of hospitalization, ICU admission, and death at 30 days, and with greater hazard of death compared with no diabetes (OR 1.73, 1.76 and 1.63, and HR 1.61; and OR 1.39, 1.49 and 1.33, and HR 1.37, respectively, all p < 0.0001). Prior sulfonylurea use was associated with greater odds of hospitalization and prior insulin use with hospitalization and death among patients with diabetes; among all participants, statin use was associated with lower mortality and ARB use with lower odds of hospitalization. Cardiovascular disease-related factors mediated < 20% of associations between diabetes and outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Diabetes is independently associated with adverse outcomes from COVID-19. Associations are only partially mediated by common comorbidities.