A quarter of people who died with coronavirus in hospitals in England had diabetes, officials say.
People with dementia or lung problems are also among those most at risk of dying after contracting COVID-19, according to new NHS figures.
Statistics from NHS England show that of the 22,332 people who died since 31 March, 5,873 (26%) of them were diabetic.
The breakdown of those who had type 1 and type 2 has not been released. According to diabetes.co.uk 6% of the UK population is diabetic.
Also, 18% of people who died after testing positive for COVID-19 – 4,048 deaths – had dementia as an underlying health condition and 15% (3,254 deaths) had chronic pulmonary disease.
Some 14% (3,214 deaths) had chronic kidney disease as an underlying health issue.
It is the first time NHS England has published a breakdown of deaths by pre-existing conditions.
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Meanwhile, latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics show an average of 148,000 people in England had coronavirus at any given time between 27 April and 10 May.
An average of 0.27% of the community population, or one in 370 people – excluding health and care workers – were infected with the virus over the period, the results of a pilot study suggest.
There seemed little difference between young and older people when it came to who caught COVID-19, even though it has been widely reported that the elderly are more vulnerable to the virus.
In the study, the estimated percentages who tested positive for COVID-19, broken down by age, were: 2-19 years old: 0.32%; 20-40 years old: 0.26%; 50 to 69 years old: 0.32%; 70 years and over: 0.23%.
However, among people working in patient-facing healthcare and social care roles, 1.33% tested positive.
Professor Partha Kar, national speciality adviser for diabetes for the NHS, said: "It is clear that people with diabetes are more at risk of dying from COVID-19.
"And more detailed analysis is currently under way to understand the link between the two although initial findings indicate that the threat in people under 40 continues to be very low.
"The NHS has put extra measures in place so that people living with diabetes can manage their condition better during the pandemic, including a range of online services, video consultations with your local clinical team and a dedicated helpline for those whRead More – Source