Another post-COVID-19 risk: New-Onset Diabetes

20 Apr 2023 • A study, published Tuesday in JAMA Network Open, of more than 600,000 people in British Columbia, Canada, links COVID-19 and a higher risk of diabetes more than 30 days after diagnosis, concluding that infection may have led to 3% to 5% excess diabetes cases at a population level. A team led by British Columbia Centre for Disease Control researchers evaluated the risk of new-onset insulin-dependent or non–insulin-dependent diabetes among 629,935 people tested for COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021.

"The findings suggest that COVID-19 infection may continue to be associated with outcomes in organ systems involved in regulating blood glucose in the postacute phase," the researchers wrote. "Disregarding the severity of COVID-19, we found that the association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and diabetes risk was significant only for males, which could be attributed to sex-specific immune responses, such as higher SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody serum concentrations in females compared with males."

The researchers said that multiple factors may contribute to the association between COVID-19 and diabetes, including infection-related β-cell destruction affecting pancreatic insulin levels and chronic low-grade inflammation.

"Our study highlights the importance of health agencies and clinicians being aware of the potential long-term consequences of COVID-19 and monitoring people after COVID-19 infection for new-onset diabetes for timely diagnosis and treatment," they concluded.

Source: JAMA Network Open | Read full story

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