Patient information

One of the major objectives of the CORONADO study is to answer the questions of diabetic patients in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Jean-François Thébaut, Vice-President of the French Diabetes Federation, presents the study and its results.

Among the victims of Covid-19, it was quickly found that a high proportion of diabetics were hospitalized, placed in intensive care and unfortunately could die. The figures from the first Chinese studies were very worrying: 30% of the patients who died were diabetics. It was these worrying elements that immediately prompted the French Diabetes Federation to mobilize and organize itself urgently to support and inform people with diabetes.

The French study CORONADO aimed to find out the characteristics of diabetic patients hospitalized with a severe form of diabetes in order to :

  • improve patient management
  • identify higher risk profiles
  • reassure those who appeared to be less at risk, such as children and young patients with type 1 diabetes
  • and to counsel those of us who seemed more at risk of serious illness

For older patients, it appeared that if the risk of being contaminated by the coronavirus was no greater than for a standard population, in case of contamination the risk of being hospitalized was multiplied by 2 and in case of hospitalization the risk of being intubated or dying was multiplied by 3.

From the outset, the scientific team of this study wished to integrate two representatives of the French Diabetes Federation into the Scientific Council and we are very grateful to them.

This national study, coordinated by Professor Bertrand Cariou and Professor Samy Hadjadj of l’institut du thorax at Nantes University Hospital, “is an amazing volunteer network mobilizing 68 public and private diabetes centres in mainland France and overseas, hundreds of researchers and hospital clinical research technicians with the support of professional and patient organizations, which has made this work possible. This is the first worldwide study looking at the characteristics of diabetics hospitalized for Covid-19. ».

Information and recommendations

Thus, 2,950 hospitalized patients were included in the study (the initial objective was only 300…) between March 10 and April 10. The initial results, based on the analysis of 1,317 medical records, provided information that established several useful findings both to reassure people with “low-risk” type diabetes and to encourage others to rigorously maintain the barrier measures.

  • Reassuringly, children and young people with Type 1 Diabetes appear to be spared.
  • The risk factors for severe forms of Covid-19 are similar to those found in the general population: age and body size (overweight is a risk factor for severe forms of Covid-19).
  • Subjects with complications of diabetes or co-morbidities are at higher risk of death from Covid-19.
  • Insulin, like other treatments for diabetes, is not a risk factor for severe Covid-19. Therefore, treatment MUST be continued.
  • Previous glycemic control (HbA1c level) does not appear to influence the severity of Covid-19.

The CORONADO network

 CORONADO is an incredible network that brings together 68 diabetes centres, medical societies and patient associations.  

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