More than a year after recovering from a Covid-19 infection, Jennifer Hobs has adapted to her new normal condition: brain fog, joint pain, elevated liver enzymes, and now type 2 diabetes. Hobs had prediabetes before he was infected with Covid-19, but she had her blood sugar controlled and she didn’t need any treatment. Recently it has changed.
“Take your blood sugar [level] Every morning, and even with two medicines, it’s everywhere, “Hobbes said.
Two years after the pandemic, scientists and doctors are paying attention to the long-term consequences of a Covid-19 infection called the “long covid.” Recent studies have added diabetes to the list of long-term results for Covid.
Experts knew that diabetics were at increased risk of severe Covid-19 infection, but new relationships are now being elucidated. Covid-19 infection may increase the risk of diabetes.
A study published this month examined people with mild Covid-19 infection in Germany and was 28% more likely to receive a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes than those who had never been infected. I found out.
A study in the United States also found an increased incidence of diabetes in people who recovered from Covid-19. The risk increases by 40% at least one year after infection. Researchers estimate that 2 in 100 people have diabetes. Infection with Covid-19 makes a new diagnosis of diabetes.
This US-based study, published last week in the medical journal The Lancet, also found that Covid-19 infection increased the risk of subsequent diabetes by 38%, even among people with low or no risk factors for diabetes. I did.
The more severe a person’s coronavirus infection, the higher the risk of diabetes. For those treated in the ICU, the risk of diabetes was increased by 276%. This relationship may be related to the steroids that some patients receive while receiving acute care. Hospital settings that can raise blood sugar levels.
“This isn’t diabetes a month or two after recovery. It’s a year later, and it certainly happens to people who aren’t hospitalized,” said VA’s Principal Investigator. Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly said. Clinical epidemiologist at St. Louis Healthcare System and Washington University in St. Louis.
The study used the US Department of Veterans Affairs national database to track more than 180,000 people after obtaining Covid-19. The research team compared the results of this group with those of a control group of more than 4 million people before the pandemic. Another group of over 4 million people in a pandemic who didn’t get Covid-19.
In children, the risk of being newly diagnosed with diabetes is even worse. A report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released in January, found that children were more than 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes after Covid-19 infection. People who have not been infected for more than a month after infection.
Over the years, the theory of inflammation from viral infections associated with diabetes has been widespread, and research has shown such a harsh relationship, according to Dr. Robert Gabey, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of the American Diabetes Association. This is my first time. Diabetes and certain viruses.
It is not yet clear to scientists why Covid-19 puts people at risk for diabetes. One theory is that the virus contains receptors that attach to the lungs, which are also present in the pancreas.
“There are many studies showing that SARS-CoV-2 can attack pancreatic beta cells and cause at least temporary harm, if not more permanent,” medical science said. Dr. Sarah Cromer, an assistant, said. Massachusetts General Hospital in the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. She was not involved in two new studies.
Beta cells are pancreatic cells that produce insulin. These cells are destroyed by a Covid-19 infection, which can cause the body to lose its ability to produce insulin. This is similar to what happens in type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disorder in which the body destroys insulin. Because it is a unique beta cell, it cannot make insulin.
“There can also be acute Covid inflammation that may be present at low levels, even asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic. This can lead to short-term insulin resistance. Stay away from a series of events that lead to longer-term insulin resistance. ”
This second theory better explains the development of type 2 diabetes. This is the most common form in which the body is still producing insulin, but is resistant to it and unable to respond to it. More than 99% of people with type 2 diabetes are new. A diagnosis of diabetes after Covid-19 infection identified in the Al-Aly study.
Other factors may contribute to this increased risk of diabetes, Cromer said.
“When you are diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2, you may be at home a little, you may eat differently, you may not exercise. That is your lifestyle. And there are many ways that may affect behavior, and we don’t “really know how they interact with metabolic disorders,” she said.
In a Cromer-led study, her team found that people newly diagnosed with diabetes after Covid-19 tend to be young, black or Hispanic, and uninsured. did.
“Many of these people thought they might have had pre-existing diabetes that wasn’t diagnosed because of inadequate access to health care,” Cromer said.
Eleven months after Covid-19 infection, 45-year-old Claudia Mendez was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during an emergency care visit. Her blood sugar level was found to be 300, a significant increase from the usual less than 140. Such studies finally answer the questions that Covid’s long-haul carriers have had in the last two years.
“It’s a double-edged sword just because I don’t want to be here, but it’s safe to say that it’s accepted,” she said.
These studies do not mean that certain cases of diabetes, such as Mendes and Hobs, were directly caused by the coronavirus, but they do change the way doctors think about the relationship between the two states.
Now, Covid-19 may need to be considered a risk factor for diabetes.
As diabetes is added to the new list of post-Covid complications, experts are worried about the tremendous impact of diabetes on the already tense healthcare system.
“Inevitably, this will create a lot of people newly diagnosed with diabetes. This has a really serious downstream impact and requires lifelong care …. We are really ready to build. I think it is necessary. Ability to deal with these patients. ”
The question remains whether the US healthcare system is ready to cope with the proliferation of chronic illnesses that result from pandemics. Al-Aly’s research team also recently found that people with Covid-19 infection had a 60% increase in cardiovascular disease after recovery.
“We are already challenging the care of all diabetics currently in existence. The last thing we need is to increase the number,” Gabay said.