ONE in three people killed by Covid-19 also had diabetes, the latest NHS data shows.
Patients with the condition accounted for 32 per cent of hospital deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.
It is up from 26 per cent reported from earlier data.
The study reveals Brits with type 1 diabetes are three and a half times more likely to die if they catch coronavirus, while those with type 2 face double the risk.
Researchers from NHS England analysed data on 24,739 Covid deaths in hospitals.
In total, 7,831 of the fatalities had diabetes.
Experts say obese patients with the condition and those with badly controlled blood sugar levels were at particular risk.
Lead researcher Professor Jonathan Valabhji said the findings were "worrying news".
He added: “This research shows the extent of the risk of coronavirus for people with diabetes and the different risks for those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
“Importantly, it also shows that higher blood glucose levels and obesity further increase the risk in both types of diabetes.
“But we would like to reassure people that the NHS is here for anyone with concerns about diabetes – and has put extra measures in place to help people and keep them safe.”
Around 4.7 million Brits – around seven per cent of the population - are affected by the condition.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body loses the ability to process sugar, mainly as a result of weight gain and poor lifestyle.
It is responsible for nine in ten cases of the disease.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition where the body attacks and kills insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, and is normally diagnosed in childhood.
Insulin is the key hormone in regulating blood sugar levels.
Diabetes UK wants ministers to do more to protect patients and ensure they can work and shop safely.
Bridget Turner, Director of Policy at the charity, said: “This new data sheds much-needed light on which groups of people with diabetes are more likely to experience poor outcomes if they catch coronavirus.
“It’s consistent with what we know about the impact of coronavirus on the general population; that poorer outcomes are very strongly linked to older age.
"The numbers of people with all types of diabetes dying in hospital from coronavirus under the age of 40 were incredibly small, suggesting the risk for younger people is considerably lower.
“It also shows that the risk of death for people with diabetes is higher than for people without the condition – with the risk for people with type 1 being higher than for those with type 2 – and that a history of higher blood sugar levels as well as obesity seem to be contributing factors.
“It’s very important to remember that the risk of dying from coronavirus – for people with and without diabetes – remains very low, and that as cases of coronavirus decline, the risk to everyone of catching the disease will reduce in turn.”