Recovering COVID patients seem to have elevated risk for newly diagnosed diabetes
A study in BMC Medicine found that people recovering from COVID-19 are at higher risk of being newly diagnosed with diabetes.
The finding is based on a meta-analysis of 9 studies that included nearly 40 million participants, the largest of its kind.
Researchers identified nearly 200,000 diabetes cases, estimating a post–COVID-19 incidence per 1,000 person-years of 15.53 and a relative risk of 1.62 compared with individuals who were not infected with COVID-19. The increased risk continued based on age, gender, type of diabetes, follow-up time, and COVID-19 severity, and it was significant even when the authors took undisclosed confounding into account.
Findings from the study also indicate a 20% higher risk of developing diabetes following COVID-19 compared with patients with other upper respiratory viruses, and an 82% increased risk compared with the general population.
Possible reasons for the higher risk include the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on pancreatic cells and the cytokine storm in people with excessive immune responses. The researchers said the findings underscore the need for health care providers to monitor patient’s glucose metabolism during the post-acute phase of COVID-19, in particular during the first 3 months following infection.