COVID-19 Associated with New-Onset Diabetes
A study of 8 million U.S. veterans revealed that those who survived the SARS-CoV2 virus and did not have diabetes 30 days after infection had a significantly increased risk of developing diabetes within the following year. Compared with veterans who did not contract the virus, the increase in risk ranged from 31% to 59%, with obese patients at highest risk. The risk was higher in African Americans than Caucasians and increased with advancing age and the presence of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and prediabetes. COVID‑19 patients admitted to intensive care were four times more likely to develop diabetes than veterans who were not infected with the virus. Even mild infection that produced few symptoms increased the risk exponentially. Because diabetes is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, the authors of the study, published online March 21 in The Lancet: Diabetes and Endocrinology, recommended patients who survive COVID‑19 be screened for diabetes and treated appropriately.