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Sero prevalence higher in patients with diabetes, latest survey in Delhi suggests

Patients with hypertension had a higher seroprevalence compared to those without the comorbidity, but the difference was not statistically significant.

Written by Astha Saxena | New Delhi | Updated: October 3, 2020 9:53:55 am
delhi coronavirus latest updates, delhi city news, delhi covid cases, delhi sero survey, delhi covid antibodies, delhi coronavirus diabetes patientsSerological survey being undertaken at a dispensary in Majnu Ka Tila. (Express archive)

The third round of the serological survey conducted on 17,409 participants suggests that prevalence of antibodies against Covid-19 was higher in participants having diabetes mellitus (DM) comorbidity as compared to participants without it. The data was shared by the state health department in a report submitted to the Delhi High Court this week.

As per data shared by the state health department, 793 out of the total participants had diabetes mellitus, and when tested, 29.1% of them turned out to be IgG positive, indicating the presence of antibodies against Covid-19. Among the 15,022 participants who did not have diabetes mellitus, the antibodies were found in 24.1% of them.

Diabetes mellitus is a disorder in which the body does not produce enough or respond normally to insulin, causing blood sugar (glucose) levels to be abnormally high.

Patients with hypertension had a higher seroprevalence compared to those without the comorbidity, but the difference was not statistically significant. In September, 1,556 people with influenza-like-illness (ILI) were tested, out of which 424 (27.2%) were found to have the presence of IgG antibodies against the 14,753 people who did not have ILI. Similarly, 671 of the participants had hypertension and 26.1% of them were found to have antibodies against Covid-19.

Patients with ILI symptoms had higher seroprevalence compared to those without ILI symptoms in all three rounds. In the latest round, meanwhile, 25% of those who had antibodies did not have ILI symptoms. “This highlights the asymptomatic status of many participants who had contracted the SARS-Cov-2 infection” said a senior health official.

The third round of the survey, conducted in the first week of September, stated that the city’s overall seroprevalence has fallen from around 29.1% in August to 25.1% in September.

The first round of this exercise, conducted between the last week of June and first week of July, had detected antibodies in about 23% of the volunteers, while the second survey results suggested a seroprevalence of 29.1% — an increase of disease spread among the population.

The difference between the first two and the third survey was that the former were carried out by sampling at the district level, and the third saw samples collected from 272 MCD wards and four divisions each of NDMC and Delhi Cantonment Board. “The third survey was much more representative of antibodies prevalence at population level,” a Delhi government spokesperson said.

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