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50% comorbidity deaths in Goa due to hypertension, diabetes accounts for 40% | Goa News

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50% comorbidity deaths in Goa due to hypertension, diabetes accounts for 40% | Goa News
PANAJI: An analysis of the state’s first 50 deaths as per data from the directorate of health services puts hypertension and diabetes at the top of the list of comorbidities in patients succumbing to Covid.

While half the deceased had hypertension as an underlying condition, more than 40% had diabetes and 30% had both hypertension and diabetes. A majority of them were in their 60s and 70s, with few in their 50s and 80s.
“Having the primary infection with Covid predisposes to a secondary infection which is common in diabetes due to the high sugar level,” a doctor said.
Stating that patients suffering from diabetes are at a higher risk of infections otherwise too, another doctor said, “It’s not that all patients with diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease will 100% die if they get Covid. They’re just at a higher risk. We have seen several recover and go home with the mildest of mild symptoms. Ninety year olds and those with cancer have also recovered from Covid.”
According to the international diabetes federation it can be harder to treat such patients as the immune system is compromised making it harder to fight the virus and leading to a longer recovery period.
“Secondly the virus may thrive in an environment of elevated blood glucose,” the federation stated.
It’s not that Covid chooses to affect those with hypertension and diabetes, a doctor who treated Covid patients in Goa said. “It’s just that if they do get Covid they’re at a higher risk of morbidity ie sickness and mortality, which is death. It’s not that if you don’t have diabetes you won’t get Covid. It’s just that you will recover from it,” he said.
“We have good health indicators when it comes to infant mortality rate and life expectancy, but we fare poorly where lifestyle diseases are concerned,” he added.
Three out of the first 50 Covid positive patients who died also had obesity as a comorbidity. These were aged 50, 58 and 63 years.
“The abdominal fat pushes the diaphragm up, compromising lung expansion and aeration of the lung. It is known that Covid lung lesions are usually at the peripheral parts of the lung,” a doctor said.
Most of the patients who died have had the need for oxygen, which suggests lung involvement — Covid has progressed to the lungs, another doctor said.
At the launch of a diabetes registry in the state in August last year, health minister Vishwajit Rane said diabetes was a silent killer and is on the rise in the state. He appealed to people to take precautions by following proper diet, exercise and availing of timely treatment to help control diabetes.
Doctors say it is difficult to predict who will end up with problems and who won’t. “The bottom line is every single person has to be careful and take precautions — the young, old, fit and unfit. One cannot predict the chances of developing complications. Of course those with comorbidities are at a higher risk, but who is to say that you won’t fall into the small percentage of those without comorbidities who succumb,” another doctor said.

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