Younger diabetics more worried about Covid-19 – study

Published: 28 July 2021 at 11:00

A depiction of the COVID-19 virus

Anglia Ruskin research finds 81% believe they have a higher risk of infection

Younger people with diabetes have significantly greater COVID-19 health concerns than older age groups, according to a new study published in the journal Primary Care Diabetes.

Researchers surveyed almost 1,000 diabetic adults of all ages in Bangladesh during November and December 2020. Numbers were roughly split between people with Type 1 and Type 2.  
The researchers found that younger people with diabetes were more likely to report Covid-specific worries than older people. These concerns were also significantly higher in smokers, and people in poor health or suffering complications due to their diabetes.

Lack of social support from family, friends and work colleagues, as well as reduced support from their diabetes care teams, were also strongly associated with more COVID-19-specific worries among people with diabetes. 
Overall, 81% of people with diabetes were worried that they have higher risk of infection, while 65% were concerned that they may not be able to manage their diabetes if they were infected with COVID-19.

Co-author of the research Professor Shahina Pardhan, Director of the Vision and Eye Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on lives all over the world, and people with diabetes are at an elevated risk of severe infection and mortality because of COVID-19.

“Diabetes is a condition which needs to be controlled adequately to avoid complications such as heart attack, strokes, sight loss and other organ damage.

“It was unsurprising that most people we surveyed were concerned about the increased risk of complications from COVID-19. However, younger people were shown to be the most worried, possibly as it is now known that COVID-19 can result in lifelong complications.

“Lack of social support was also associated with increased worry as people with diabetes were unable to see family or friends, and healthcare appointments often moved online or were postponed.”