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COVID-19 with Diabetes: Type 1 & Type 2

COVID-19 poses additional concerns to people living with diabetes and requires extra planning. Uncontrolled blood glucose may increase the risk of developing severe illness from coronavirus. 

The American Diabetes Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remind us that people living with diabetes are more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications when infected with a virus. This does NOT mean a greater chance of contracting COVID-19. 

Higher A1c Linked to Hospitalization Risk in People with Type 2 Diabetes & COVID-19

A multicenter cohort study of 39,616 adults found an increased risk of hospitalization with incrementally higher A1c levels, but risk of death plateaued at above 8% A1c.  The retrospective study used observational data from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative.

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

How do vaccines work?

When a vaccine for a virus is injected, the body created antibodies to fight the virus if you're exposed to it in the future.

Can the vaccine give me the virus?

No. There is no way to get COVID-19 from the vaccines.

Should I expect any adverse effects from the vaccination?

The vaccines may result in arm pain and swelling, fever, chills, muscle/joint pain, diarrhea and/or headache. 

Diabetes and the Risk of COVID-19

"Studies have clearly shown that people with type 1 diabetes have as great, or even perhaps slightly greater risk of severe COVID infection as those with type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Harlan.  "Those living with diabetes are encouraged to keep up with their vaccinations." 


NBC-10 Boston asked UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Co-Director, Dr. David Harlan (above) about COVID-19 risks for people with diabetes.

The CDC initially categorized people with type 2 diabetes “at increased risk” of more severe illness, adding the condition to the priority list for vaccination. After months of petitions by diabetes organizations and advocates, type 1 diabetes was finally added to their list of medical conditions that predispose adults to more severe COVID-19 illness. 


Diabetes Sick Day Guidelines

When you’re sick, even with a simple cold, blood glucose may rise. It's always important to follow these diabetes sick day guidelines

When sick with a viral infection, people with diabetes do face an increased risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), commonly experienced by people with type 1 diabetes.  Learn the signs (DKA) and be sure to talk with your diabetes care team about when to check for ketones and when to contact your doctor if you have them.