Covid-19 infection may increase risk of diabetes, study reveals

Results of the North American study were released today

People who contract Covid-19 have a higher risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes, considered one of the main causes of the emergence of cardiovascular diseases, suggests a North American study released today.

“Our results indicate that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes after a Covid-19 infection was not just an initial observation, but a real risk that unfortunately persisted during the Omicron variant,” said Alan Kwan, cardiologist and study coordinator.

According to the specialist from the Smidt Heart Institute (SHI), belonging to the American institution Cedars-Sinai, the conclusions now released constitute a "help to better understand and prepare for the post-covid-19 era" in relation to the cardiovascular risk of people who were infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Published in the medical journal JAMA Network Open, of the American Medical Association, the study also suggests that the risk of having type 2 diabetes is lower in people who were already vaccinated against covid-19 when they were infected with the coronavirus.

To determine increased rates of diabetes, SHI investigators evaluated the medical records of 23.709 adults who had at least one documented SARS-CoV-2 infection and were treated at Cedars-Sinai facilities in Los Angeles between 2020 and 2022. XNUMX.

«The risk of type 2 diabetes after exposure to covid-19 for unvaccinated patients was 2,7%», decreasing to 1% in the case of previously immunized people, adds the peer-reviewed study.

These results suggest that “vaccination against covid-19 before infection can provide a protective effect against the risk of diabetes”, stressed Alan Kwan.

“Although more studies are needed to validate this hypothesis, we remain firm in our conviction that vaccination remains an important tool in protecting against covid-19, but also against the still uncertain risks that people may experience during the post-natal period. -infection", defended the expert.

Susan Cheng, professor of Cardiology at SHI, admits that the trends and patterns that have been recorded indicate that covid-19 «may be acting in certain scenarios as an accelerator of diseases».

"Instead of being diagnosed with diabetes at age 65, a person with pre-existing risk may, after a covid-19 infection, be more likely to develop diabetes at age 45 or 55", explained the cardiologist.

According to data from the study, diabetes affects about 26 million people in the United States.

According to recent data from the International Diabetes Federation, Portugal has the second highest standardized prevalence of diabetes in the European Union, with 9,1% in the population between 20 and 79 years old, above the 6,2% of all countries.

At the end of November 2022, the Directorate-General for Health said that more than 79 cases of diabetes had been registered in about a year, bringing the number of people enrolled in health centers with the disease to almost 880.