Asymptomatic COVID-19 among individuals living with diabetes: Rapid scoping review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Aim: There is concern over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in individuals with diabetes mellitus. In the ongoing discourse, interest arises “if
medicines we already have are good enough to buy patients more time” and whether diabetes drugs are friends or foe. This study focused on whether oral hypoglycaemic drugs constitute complementary medicine for COVID-19 in those living with diabetes.
Method: Rapid scoping review was done and articles on PubMed and research News related to COVID19 were screened. Focus was outcome of asymptomatic
COVID-19 rehabilitative management in people living with diabetes.
Results: From over 14,600 articles, 3 papers were selected and critically appraised. Up to 30% of COVID-19 cases may have diabetes as pre-existing and most will be symptomatic of which about a quarter may aggravate. This prevalence of aggravation is higher than in the subpopulation with only respiratory disease. Among the asymptomatic subpopulation, rehabilitation seems absolutely and most successful in preventing progression to symptomatic status when compared to other COVID-19 subpopulations.
Conclusion: The results signify that some of the medicines already available are good enough to buy COVID-19 patients time. However, majority of COVID-19
cases with pre-existing diabetes could be symptomatic and likely to aggravate. While routine clinical management may be doubling up as complementary
medicine for COVID-19, effect may be observable in those without symptoms. Concern on glucocorticoid use is warranted, especially in diabetes clients who are immunocompromised that may worsen with the therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalHaematology and Medical Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2021


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