Published online Mar 15, 2021. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v12.i3.198
Peer-review started: November 26, 2020
First decision: December 20, 2020
Revised: January 7, 2021
Accepted: January 22, 2021
Article in press: January 22, 2021
Published online: March 15, 2021
Diabetes and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are worldwide pandemics that have had a major impact on public health throughout the globe. Risk factors for developing diabetes and having adverse outcomes of COVID-19 appear to be similar; metabolic factors (such as obesity), non-White ethnicity and poorer socioeconomic status appear to be risk factors for both. Diabetes and COVID-19 have a significant effect on populations adversely affected by health inequality. Whilst we hope that COVID-19 will be mitigated by widespread use of vaccines, no such prospect exists for mitigating the pandemic of diabetes. In this brief opinion review, I compare risk factors for diabetes and adverse outcomes of COVID-19 and argue that tackling health and social inequality is likely to play a major role in solving the global diabetes pandemic and improve outcomes of COVID-19.
Core Tip: Diabetes and coronavirus disease 2019 are both global pandemics that cause more severe disease in people of non-White ethnicity and lower socioeconomic status. Improving social justice and reducing health inequalities will reduce the risk of both conditions considerably.