LiveSmart: COVID-19 and Diabetes – Know the Risks, Reduce the Impact

[This article was written by Katie Cameron, MPH, BSW, site coordinator for St. Peter’s Diabetes & Endocrine Care, Diabetes Education Program.]

Just last week, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that patients with an underlying health condition were six times more likely to end up in the hospital and 12 times more likely to die if they contracted COVID-19.

The study went on to report that less than two percent of previously healthy people died from the infection, compared to nearly 20 percent with preexisting conditions, most often heart disease, diabetes or lung disease. In general, people with diabetes are more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications when infected with a virus and that holds true for those infected with COVID-19, as well.

Your risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 is likely to be lower if your diabetes is well-managed. However, with undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes on the rise in the United States, you could be at increased risk and not even know it.

But, how do you know if you have prediabetes? A good place to start is to take the CDC’s self-assessment quiz at

If you, or an adolescent or adult you love, scored a five or greater on the quiz, or have previously been diagnosed with prediabetes by your physician, you are eligible to participate in a free diabetes prevention program sponsored by St. Peter’s Diabetes & Endocrine Care.

Our “PreventT2” lifestyle change program can help you make lasting changes to prevent Type 2 diabetes. The program, which meets weekly for 16 weeks, then bi-weekly, and then monthly, offers participants:

  • A CDC-approved curriculum
  • The skills you need to lose weight, be more physically active, and manage stress
  • A certified diabetes education/trained lifestyle coach to guide and encourage you
  • Support from other participants with the same goals as you
  • Follow-up meetings to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle

Diet and exercise with weight loss are proven preventive measures against the development of Type 2 diabetes. St. Peter’s Diabetes & Endocrine Care can help you on your journey to take control of your health.

Our next Virtual Program is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, June 30, at 3 p.m. To register online, visit For questions, contact Katie Cameron at 518-447-3548 or email


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