SAGE Open Med. 2021 Aug 16;9:20503121211039105. doi: 10.1177/20503121211039105. eCollection 2021.
OBJECTIVES: Although there have been associations between diabetes and mortality in COVID-19 patients, it is unclear whether this is driven by the disease itself or whether it can be attributed to an inability to exhibit effective glucose control.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 292 patients admitted to a tertiary referral center to assess the association of mortality and glycemic control among COVID-19-positive patients. We used a logistic regression model to determine whether average fasting glycemic levels were associated with in-hospital mortality.
RESULTS: Among the diabetic and non-diabetic patients, there were no differences between mortality or length of stay. Mean glucose levels in the first 10 days of admission were higher on average among those who died (150-185 mg/dL) compared with those who survived (125-165 mg/dL). When controlling for multiple variables, there was a significant association between mean fasting glucose and mortality (odds ratio = 1.014, p < 0.001). The associations between glucose and mortality remained when controlled for comorbidities and glucocorticoid use.
CONCLUSION: The results of this retrospective study show an association between mortality and inpatient glucose levels, suggesting that there may be some benefit to tighter glucose control in patients diagnosed with COVID-19.