Darrell Cager Sr., 64, had diabetes. So his youngest daughter urged him to seek care. The next day, he collapsed and died in his New Orleans home. The daughter soon learned the cause: acute respiratory distress from COVID-19. His death certificate noted diabetes as an underlying condition. Brumfield, who lives in Texas and also has type 2 diabetes, is “terrified” she could be next. “I’m thinking, Lord, this could happen to me,” she said of her father’s death in late March.
She has good reason to fear. As U.S. outbreaks surge, a new government study shows that nearly 40% of people who have died with COVID-19 had diabetes. Among deaths of those under 65, half had the chronic condition. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed more than 10,000 deaths in 15 states and New York City from February to May. Jonathan Wortham, a CDC epidemiologist who led the study, called the findings “extremely striking,” with serious implications for those with diabetes and their loved ones.