march 2020 • The Lancet - Respiratory Medicine

Are patients with hypertension and diabetes mellitus at increased risk for COVID-19 infection?

Lei Fang, George Karakiulakis, Michael Roth

DOI: 10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30116-8


The most distinctive comorbidities of 32 non-survivors from a group of 52 intensive care unit patients with novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the study by Xiaobo Yang and colleagues1 were cerebrovascular diseases (22%) and diabetes (22%). Another study2 included 1099 patients with confirmed COVID-19, of whom 173 had severe disease with comorbidities of hypertension (23·7%), diabetes mellitus (16·2%), coronary heart diseases (5·8%), and cerebrovascular disease (2·3%). In a third study,3 of 140 patients who were admitted to hospital with COVID-19, 30% had hypertension and 12% had diabetes. Notably, the most frequent comorbidities reported in these three studies of patients with COVID-19 are often treated with angiotensinconverting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors; however, treatment was not assessed in either study