Are Covid-19 patients at risk for diabetes?
Following Covid-19 infection, the number of insulin-secreting granules in beta cells was reduced and impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was observed. In addition, following Covid-19 disease, some patients develop insulin resistance and hyperglycemia even though they have no prior history of diabetes.
Infection with SARS-CoV-2 can lead to a strong release of proinflammatory signaling substances (cytokines). Immune system activation can persist for months after infection with SARS-CoV-2 and reduces the effectiveness of insulin (muscle, fat cells, liver).
However, to date it has been unclear whether these metabolic changes are transient or whether Covid-19 disease increases the risk of persistent diabetes.
To investigate this question, researchers from the German Diabetes Center (DDZ), the German Diabetes Research Center (DZD) and IQVIA (Frankfurt) conducted a retrospective cohort study.
The cohort study included a representative group of 1,171 physicians practicing across Germany (March 2020 to January 2021: 8.8 million patients). Stay tuned until July 2021.
“The aim of our study was to investigate the incidence of diabetes after SARS-CoV-2 infection,” first author Wolfgang Rathmann, head of the Epidemiological Research Group at DDZ. As a control group, the researchers selected people with acute upper respiratory tract infections (AURIs), which are also often caused by viruses.
The two cohorts were matched for sex, age, health insurance, month of Covid-19 or AURI diagnosis, and comorbidities (obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart attack, stroke). Patients treated with corticosteroids were excluded from the study.
During the study period, 35,865 people were diagnosed with Covid-19.
“Our analyzes show that patients with Covid-19 develop type 2 diabetes more often than those with AURI. The prevalence of diabetes with Covid-19 infection was 15.8 versus 12.3. per 1000 people per year with AURI Statistical analysis shows an incidence rate (IRR) of 1.28. Simply put, this means the relative risk of developing type 2 diabetes 28% higher in the Covid-19 group than in the AURI group,” Rathmann said, summarizing the results.
While type 2 diabetes is not a problem for the vast majority of people with mild Covid-19 illness, the authors recommend that anyone who has recovered from Covid-19 be alert to the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. warning symptoms, such as fatigue, frequent urination. and increased thirst and seek treatment immediately.