The British The Guardian wrote on Thursday about the coronavirus with the eye-catching headline "In England, one in four people who die of Covid-19 disease".
Read more: One in four deaths from diabetes - From England, information on coronary heart disease
Do diabetics in Finland have to worry about this?
- You should not worry if you have treated your disease well, says doctor, diabetologist Timo Valle.
Indeed, the experts interviewed by IS emphasize maintaining a good balance of care for diabetes during the Korona period.
- It has already been shown that if we compare diabetics with a good balance of care with those with a bad balance of care, the balance of care is strongly correlated with intensive care and the risk of death, says Tiinamaija Tuomi, HUS's chief physician.
- Therefore, diabetic doctors around the world recommend the most effective treatment of blood sugar during a possible Covid-19 infection.
The same is said by Valle.
- If a person has poorly balanced diabetes, ie blood sugar is very high, then the general susceptibility to infection is increased. The body is not in a state where it can fight violent infections.
Valle bases his report on a Chinese study that found that in poorly managed diabetes, the risk of coronavirus death is 6 to 10 times higher than if diabetes is treated well.
- The difference is huge, Valle says.
Diabetes, which is associated with additional diseases, is a particular risk.
- Especially elderly people with diabetes, who have severe additional diseases such as heart or kidney failure, have an increased risk of developing severe coronavirus infection and related complications, says Anu Heikkilä, a specialist at the Finnish Diabetes Association.
- In other words, the more you age and the more diseases, the greater the risks of a more serious illness.
According to the Diabetes Association's website, about 500,000 Finns suffer from diabetes. Of these, about 50,000 suffer from type 1 diabetes and about 400,000 from type 2 diabetes.
Diabetologist Valle is concerned about the situation of Finnish diabetics.
- The recent message to Finns has been that all contacts must be avoided and now we must isolate ourselves. However, that doesn’t mean you should isolate yourself from diabetes treatments. Regular checks should not be missed under any circumstances.
Valle, who treats diabetic patients alone, has been routinely screening diabetics remotely for the past six weeks.
According to the Diabetes Association, there are up to 100,000 undiagnosed type 2 diabetics in Finland. Valle states that undiagnosed individuals should be found and identified.
Valle finds the harsh headlines in the British media problematic. The "quarter" says he doesn't really say anything about it.
- In practice, the article listed what diagnoses those who died of coronary heart disease have had. Diabetes is a common public illness and occurs especially among the elderly. Most of the dead are elderly, so there are also a lot of diabetics among the dead.
According to THL, the median age of those who died of coronavirus disease in Finland is 84 years. More than 90 percent of those who died had one or more long-term illnesses. The most common of these have been heart disease and diabetes.
Tuomi describes the situation with regard to HUS.
- At HUS, we have published a 25% percentage of diabetics who are hospitalized for coronavirus patients. In terms of patients admitted to the hospital, the proportion corresponds to the British, ie it is not higher.
How should a person with diabetes act during the Korona period?
According to Heikkilä, everything starts with good hand and cough hygiene. Avoiding close contacts and complying with the necessary home quarantines are also important things to consider.
According to Heikkilä, contacts with all patients, whether they have a corona suspicion or not, should be avoided.
- People with diabetes should take care of their diabetes and strive for the healthiest possible lifestyle.
- Resistance to any virus can be increased by taking care of the essentials of life, healthy eating, regular eating, exercise where possible, adequate sleep, rest periods and communication with loved ones and friends.
Smoking cessation is also recommended.
You can find corona information for diabetics and treatment instructions on the Diabetes Association's website.