It is a common complication of diabetes and is caused when there’s damage to the small blood vessels in the eye, explained researchers, including those from King’s College London.
Scientists probed 187 people who had diabetes and who were hospitalised due to coronavirus between March and April 2020.
They found that 67 patients had diabetic retinopathy (disease of the retina). A majority of them had a background of a damaged eye.
Of the 187 patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19, the scientists said 26 per cent were intubated, and 45 per cent had retinopathy.
What the study found
According to the study, retinopathy was associated with a five-fold increased risk for intubation with no association observed between this condition and mortality.
“Further studies are required to investigate the possible mechanisms that explain the links between markers and manifestations of diabetic vascular disease such as retinopathy and severe Covid-19,” Corcillo added.