LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Figures released Tuesday show that about 20% of the patients being treated for COVID-19 in Southern Nevada hospitals have underlying medical conditions. Nearly half of those patients have diabetes.
Hypertension — high blood pressure — is the most common underlying medical condition, affecting nearly 70 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Both diabetes and hypertension also were present in many of the patients who died while hospitalized in Southern Nevada during the coronavirus pandemic. Hypertension affected 36%, while diabetes affected almost 29%.
Doctors say diabetes is dangerous because high blood sugar can fuel an infection, and diabetics face an increased risk of contracting the virus. Diabetes can also cause problems with the body’s immune response.
The American Diabetes Association reports, “In China, where most cases have occurred so far, people with diabetes had much higher rates of serious complications and death than people without diabetes.”
About 10.5% of Americans are diabetic — about 34 million people.
Doctors recommend that patients keep a 30-day supply of medication on hand, and emphasize the importance of taking medication and controlling blood sugar levels.