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High HbA1c increases risks for acute respiratory distress syndrome with COVID-19

A retrospective study was done with 77 adults classified as severely or critically ill.

For the study, researchers considered a “high” A1c anything over 6.5%. All but five individuals in the study had diabetes. Adults with COVID-19 that were admitted to two ICUs in China were at greater risk for secondary respiratory infections, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and mortality with an HbA1c of 6.5% or higher compared to those with an A1c below 6.5%. In the higher HbA1c group, there were also higher rates of critical illness and mortality.

The researchers attributed severe pulmonary infection and consequent acute respiratory distress syndrome as the possible primary causes of death. Routine examination of A1c, and timely identification and treatment of pulmonary secondary respiratory infections and acute respiratory distress syndrome might be beneficial to improve the prognosis of COVID-19, suggested the researchers.

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