COVID-19 Linked to Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

People who have had COVID-19 incur a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in Diabetologia.

This study comprised of 1,171 physician practices across Germany and focused on close to 9 million patients. It was conducted from March 2020 to January 2021. Follow-up continued until July 2021. “The aim of our study was to investigate the incidence of diabetes after infection with SARS-CoV-2,” said first author Wolfgang Rathmann, head of the Epidemiology Research Group at the DDZ via a press release about the study. The control group consisted of people with acute upper respiratory tract infections (AURI), which are also frequently caused by viruses. The respective cohorts were matched for sex, age, health insurance, month of Covid-19 or AURI diagnosis, and comorbidities.

According to Rathmann’s summation of the results: “Our analyses showed that patients with Covid-19 developed type 2 diabetes more frequently than people with AURI. The incidence of diabetes with Covid-19 infection was 15.8 compared to 12.3 per 1000 people per year with AURI. Statistical analysis resulted in an incidence rate ratio (IRR) of 1.28. Put simply, this means that the relative risk of developing type 2 diabetes was 28% higher in the Covid-19 group than in the AURI group.”

While type 2 diabetes is unlikely to occur in the majority of COVID patients, the authors recommend that anyone who has recovered from COVID be alert to the warning signs and symptoms, such as fatigue, frequent urination. If you notice these presentations, make an appointment with your doctor.