New study: Increased diabetes risk for people previously hit with Covid-19

People who have previously been infected with Covid-19 could stand at increased risk for diabetes, according to a new study. 

Doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles analysed the medical records of 23,709 adult patients who had at least one documented Covid-19 infection between 2020-2022.

They found that the combined risk of someone developing type 2 diabetes after a bout of Covid-19 was 2.1%, with 70% occurring after Covid-19 infection versus 30% prior to exposure. 

This accounted for both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients. 

The risk of type 2 diabetes after exposure for unvaccinated patients was 2.7%, with 74% occurring after infection versus 26% prior to exposure, the study also found.

For vaccinated patients, the risk of type 2 diabetes was 1%, with 51% occurring after infection and 49% prior to exposure. 

Dr Alan Kwan said the results revealed a risk of developing the condition after a Covid-19 infection, and that the risk has also persisted through the Omicron phase.

“These results suggest that Covid-19 vaccination prior to infection may provide a protective effect against diabetes risk,” he said. 

As type 2 diabetes is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease, Dr Kwan also said the study’s findings would better prepare doctors for the post Covid-19 era of cardiovascular risk. 

The findings have been published in the JAMA Network Open Medical journal.


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