A new study, carried out by a consultant for the Portuguese Association of Hospital Administrators, analysed the impact of Covid-19 on diabetes management in National Health Service hospitals, comparing data from the Central Administration of the Health System for 2019 (pre- pandemic) and 2020 (pandemic year).

According to the analysis, the number of diabetics treated in inpatient and outpatient hospitals fell by 14.5% and 12%, respectively, with this result due, among several possible reasons, to the "concentration of Covid patients in hospitals", to the "fear of patients to seek health services" and to the "general lockdown policy".

Despite the decrease in the number of patients treated, the relative weight of diabetics in hospital activities increased, however, by approximately 5% in the hospital and 18.2% in the outpatient clinic between 2019 and 2020.

Given the complexity of the cases, the average cost of a diabetic patient treated in a hospital increased from €2,900 in 2019 to €3,327 in 2020, with the average length of stay per patient rising by 2.5%.

The analysis highlights that, despite the reduction in overall hospital mortality of 2.2%, in 2020 6.9% more diabetics died in hospitals, with the mortality rate increasing by 24.9%, which suggests, according to the consultant, "greater severity of these patients".