Three intertwined ‘epidemics’ raise risk

Some of Mary-Elizabeth Patti’s patients with diabetes are in a bind. Careful to practice social distancing, they tell her during telehealth visits they don’t feel safe exercising outdoors in their congested neighborhoods — though they know staying active and maintaining good blood sugar levels may be their best defense against severe Covid-19.

“I’m always happy when patients say, yes, I’m not going out, I’m wearing a mask, I’m doing as much as I can. But it makes it harder for people to meet their fitness goal, which is such a critical element of overall health and metabolic health,” said Patti, an adult endocrinologist at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. “It underscores the health inequity problem,” she added: “Their exposures may be increased due to living in a densely populated neighborhood with multigenerational families [and] more essential workers who cannot work from home.”

There are no easy answers to the

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