Contracting acute COVID-19 comes with an increased risk of developing diabetes, though not much is known about why, according to a study published Monday, that shows diabetes outcomes can develop up to a year after diagnosis.
The study, titled “Risks and Burdens of Incident Diabetes in Long COVID: A Cohort Study,” found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in post-acute COVID-19 patients was increased.
Veterans were used to conduct the study through an analysis of those who had COVID-19 and their follow-up appointments versus those who never contracted the virus.
“Risks and burdens of post-acute outcomes increased in a graded fashion according to the severity of the acute phase of COVID-19,” the study reads, adding that the outcomes depend on whether or not the patient was ever hospitalized or admitted to intensive care.
Risks & burdens of incident diabetes in long COVID:post-acute⬆️risk(HR 1·40);⬆️burden(13·46/1000 at 12mth)incident diabetes;⬆️risk (1·85),⬆️burden (12·35)incident antihyperglycaemic use;composite endpoint of diabetes/antihyperglycaemic use(HR 1·46 & 18·03) https://t.co/kThrQTQfQ5
Prof. Dr. Sanjeev Bagai (@BagaiDr) March 22, 2022
However, the study also pointed out that it did not matter whether a case of COVID-19 was mild or severe; all patients with COVID-19 presented an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The risk increase is around 40% compared to those who have remained COVID-free.
It is not clear if the diabetes present in long COVID patients is a relatively short term side effect or if patients will have to deal with a new reality for the rest of their lives. The study did not analyze whether there are any other factors that increase risk, such as age or if the patients have comorbidities.
“Increased risks and 12-month burdens of incident diabetes and antihyperglycemic use in people with COVID-19 compared with a contemporary control group of people who were enrolled during the same period and had not contracted SARS-CoV-2,” the study concludes.
The ~40% increased risk of diabetes, in people with Covid, not present at 1 month, but manifest at 1-year follow-uphttps://t.co/mT5syl9E9u among 180,000 infectees vs 4.3 million controls #LongCovid @zalaly pic.twitter.com/ziNYLnnBzR
Eric Topol (@EricTopol) March 22, 2022
While it’s too soon to conclude the longer-term effects of COVID-19 beyond two years, more and more evidence points to the fact that long COVID-19 increases the risk of multiple conditions and diseases like diabetes.
“Current evidence suggests that diabetes is a facet of the multifaceted long COVID syndrome,” the study points out