How do you deal with our diabetes epidemic

World Diabetes Day: Regular medical check-ups are important despite the pandemic

In Austria around 750,000 people are currently affected by type 2 diabetes mellitus. “Because of their illness, those affected by diabetes belong to the COVID-19 risk groups with a more severe disease course and higher mortality. You should be particularly careful ", states the metabolism expert Alexandra Kautzky-Willer from MedUni Vienna," but even in the corona pandemic, those affected should not forego the regular intake of diabetes medication and medical check-ups. A bad metabolic setting increases the risk! "

Alexandra Kautzky-Willer and Peter Klimek from the Institute for Science of Complex Systems at MedUni Vienna evaluated cases of illness in diabetics in Austria. The data were made available by the umbrella organization of social insurance agencies.

Using epidemiological spread models, the research team analyzed the disease histories of diabetes patients, mostly over 50 years of age, in the period from 2012 to 2017. All those people who honored anti-diabetic prescriptions or who had regular HbA1c controls were defined as diabetics (Measuring blood sugar levels).

Suspending medications increases the risk of death

The evaluations confirmed the east-west divide in Austria, according to which there are significantly more diabetics in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland than in the western federal states. In addition, it was also shown that more and more younger women (30 to 40 years of age) develop diabetes.

Kautzky-Willer explains: “With three quarters of a million people affected, we can actually speak of a diabetes epidemic in Austria. But our calculations also show that the number of new cases is currently stagnating at a high level or is slightly relapsing, especially among older people. "

However, it also became clear that in the period under review - i.e. even before the restrictions caused by the corona pandemic - around a quarter either refrained from taking the medication or did not comply with the regular controls for at least a year. And the consequences are also visible. "Our figures show that this inconsistent group has a higher risk of death than those who adhere to medications and controls," explains Kautzky-Willer and therefore appeals to take medication and have blood sugar levels checked regularly even in times of Corona. "In the case of an active infection, it may be necessary to adjust the diabetes medication, which can often be clarified by telemedicine."

Additional Information:

last updated 11/13/2020
Approved by the health portal editors