INTRODUCTION: To investigate type 2 diabetes as a risk factor for COVID-19 death following hospital admission in Kuwait.
METHODS: A retrospective cohort study using data from a central hospital that cared for all hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Kuwait. We investigated the association between type 2 diabetes, with COVID-19 mortality using multiply imputed logistic regression and calculated the population attributable fraction.
RESULTS: A total of 5333 patients were admitted with COVID-19, of whom 244 died (4.6%). Diabetes prevalence was 24.8%, but 53.7% of those who died had diabetes. After adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity and other comorbidities, diabetes was associated with death (OR 1.70 [95% CI 1.23, 2.34]) and admission to the intensive care unit more than 3 days after initial admission (OR 1.78 [95% CI 1.17, 2.70]). Assuming causality, the population attributable fraction for type 2 diabetes in COVID-19 death was 19.6% (95% CI 10.8, 35.6).
CONCLUSION: Type 2 diabetes is a strong risk factor for COVID-19 death in the Middle East. Given the high prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the Middle East, as well as many Western countries, the public health implications are considerable.