Survivors of Covid-19 have a higher risk of developing new diabetes within a year of recovery, a new study has found.
Researchers at the VA St. Louis Health Care System found that people recovering from covid were 40% more likely to develop new cases of diabetes than those in the control group.
This translates to 1 in 100 people having an increased risk of developing diabetes after a COVID-19 infection. As of Monday, 79.5 million people in the United States have been infected with COVID-19, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which could lead to the diagnosis of 795,000 new diabetics.
“It’s hard for me to swallow,” Dr. Ziad Al-Ali, head of research and development at VA St. Louis Healthcare Systems and lead author of the study, told ABC News. “COVID-19 is not just about the acute effects. It leaves many people with long-term health consequences that they will have to deal with for a lifetime and it is annoying. It is uncomfortable to take.”
For the study, published Monday in the Lancet Journal of Diabetes and Endocrinology, the team looked at patient data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021.
They compared the more than 181,000 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 to the more than 4.1 million patients who did not become infected during the same period. Data were compared with another 4.28 million patients treated in VA in 2018 and 2019.
Al-Ali said the team initially thought the increased risk would only be seen in people who had a risk factor for diabetes, such as obesity, but the results showed that the risk was evident in all groups.
“It was evident in black people and white people; it was evident in young and old people; it was evident in men and women; and, most importantly, it was evident in people who were not at risk for diabetes. All,” he said. Said.
He added that there are several theories about how covid increases the risk of diabetes, although none has been proven or refuted.
One theory is that COVID-19 triggers inflammation which can disrupt insulin secretion and sensitivity. Another is that Covid-19 disrupts the structure and function of the microbiome, which can lead to diabetes.
The results add a growing body of evidence that COVID-19 infection can lead to long-term health consequences.
Al-Ali said that when most people think of the long-term health effects of Kovid, they think of shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating and sleep disorders.
But further research has shown that people who survive covid can suffer from heart problems, kidney problems and in this case diabetes.
“Over the last year or so, we have begun to notice in some patients that they are [long-term] Exposures are not just fatigue and brain fog, people are coming down with new onset diabetes, ”he said.
Most patients in the study, more than 99%, developed type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of diabetes and occurs when cells become resistant to insulin – a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
Due to insulin resistance, the pancreas needs to make more insulin for the cells to respond and this leads to higher blood sugar levels.
This is different from type 1 diabetes, which is more commonly diagnosed in children and adolescents and occurs when the pancreas does not produce insulin or produces very little insulin.
The new study is not the first to link COVID-19 infection with diabetes.
In a study published last week, researchers at the Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich Heine University in Dেলsseldorf, Germany, found that those who previously had Covid-19 had a 28% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Al-Ali said the best way to reduce the risk of diabetes is to prevent people from getting COVID-19 by vaccinating them first.
But those who are already infected with the virus should keep an eye on the warning signs of diabetes, such as excessive thirst and frequent urination.
“These are symptoms of diabetes, and we need to test you because early detection and early detection and treatment of diabetes, or tearing it up, is always better than not keeping it for years and making it worse or worse.” The result, “said al-Ali.