Coronavirus patients with diabetes — like Tom Hanks — can have more complications
Tom Hanks seemed to downplay his disclosure last week that he and wife Rita Wilson tested positive for coronavirus while on location for a movie in Australia.
But the 63-year-old actor’s Type 2 diabetes — which he disclosed in 2013 — meant he had an underlying condition that could potentially have made contracting the virus even more serious for him.
In recent days Hanks has given several updates about himself and Wilson — and they both seem to be doing well in self-quarantine.
Tom Hanks’ sister says actor is ‘not good, but still OK’ amid coronavirus diagnosis
Diabetes sufferers may be at a higher risk for complications from COVID-19 because some viruses thrive on higher blood glucose levels and those with diabetes already have compromised immune systems, according to Health.com.
Viral infections can also cause inflammation and internal swelling for diabetes patients, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Diabetes patients with viruses sometimes experience diabetic ketoacidosis, common for those with Type 1 diabetes, which makes it hard to regulate fluid intake and electrolyte levels and can lead to sepsis and septic shock in serious cases, the association says on its website.
Among more than 44,000 cases in China, coronavirus patients with diabetes had more complications and more deaths than healthy people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The death rate for diabetes patients with COVID-19 in China was 7 percent compared to less than 1 percent for otherwise healthy individuals, according to the CDC.
Patients with heart disease had a 10.5 percent death rate.
The CDC says people with other underlying conditions like heart disease or asthma are also at increased risk for complications from the virus.
Seven years ago, Hanks told late-night host David Letterman about his diagnosis.
“I went to the doctor and he said, ‘You know those high-blood-sugar numbers you’ve been dealing with since you were 36? Well, you’ve graduated. You’ve got Type 2 diabetes, young man,'” Hanks said.
The actor is known for his drastic weight fluctuations for his on-screen roles, which could have contributed to his diagnosis.
CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE
“My doctor said, ‘Look, if you can weigh as much as you weighed in high school, you will essentially be totally healthy —will not have Type 2 diabetes,’” he said on the “Late Show.” “Then I said to her, ‘Well, I’m going to have Type 2 diabetes because there is no way I can weigh as much as I did in high school.’”
This week, Hanks’ sister, Sandra Hanks Benoiton, said her brother was “not good, but still OK.”
Hanks on Tuesday said the couple’s fevers have gone but they’re dealing with the “blahs” and joked his wife keeps beating him at gin rummy while in self-quarantine.
Source : Brie Stimson Link