Introduction: The disease progression of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in individuals with comorbidities, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in particular, has been associated with the occurrence of the cytokine storm. Ferritin, an acute-phase protein indicating inflammation, has been linked to T2DM and the severity of COVID-19. Our study aimed to investigate the association between the level of ferritin and the severity of COVID-19 in T2DM patients.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among COVID-19 patients admitted at Dr. Soetomo General Hospital, Surabaya, from April to September 2020. The patients who met the inclusion criteria were enrolled in the study. The data used in this study was secondary data obtained from the medical records at Dr. Soetomo General Hospital, which consisted of serum ferritin levels, the severity of COVID-19, the results of blood analysis, and other demographic and clinical characteristics (age, gender, hypertension, the number of complaints, and vital signs). Data analysis was performed using SPSS software and presented in percentage (%), mean ± standard deviation (SD), or median (min-max). A chi-square test was carried out to identify the association between serum ferritin level and the severity of COVID-19 in T2DM patients at α=0.05.
Results: Of the total 159 patients were included and 80.8% of them had moderate severity of COVID-19, whereas the rest (19.5%) had severe COVID-19. Out of total patients, 78.6% had ferritin levels of ≥400 mg/dL, suggesting hyperferritinemia syndrome (mean ± SD: 1177.21 ± 1275.90 mg/dL). The Chi-squared analysis revealed a significant association between serum ferritin levels with the severity of COVID-19 in T2DM patients (p=0.024).
Conclusion: There was a significant relationship between serum ferritin levels and the severity of COVID-19 in T2DM patients and further study with a bigger sample size is needed to confirm this finding.