Health

alarm up to one year after the infection

People who contract the Covid have a higher risk of developing diabetes. The danger progressively diminishes, but would remain significant up to a year after infection. It emerges from a study conducted on nearly 200 thousand people and published in the journal “The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology”. One of the authors, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center, and lead researcher at the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System, points out that “when the pandemic ends we will be left with a legacy of chronic diseases.” And the risk is that health systems are not prepared. Al-Aly, together with epidemiologist Yan Xie, examined the medical records of over 180,000 infected people. The data were compared with those of people who had not contracted Covid. Research has also revealed more: coronavirus infection would also increase the risk of developing kidney disease, heart failure and stroke.

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The percentages of risk

As for diabetes, monitoring appears to show that people who have had Covid-19 are about 40 percent more likely to develop the disease. Almost all of the cases analyzed are type 2 diabetes: there are high levels of glucose in the blood, because the body does not produce enough insulin. According to the researchers, the chance of getting diabetes is higher if the Covid infection has caused more severe symptoms. People who have been hospitalized, especially in intensive care, would have about three times the chance of getting sick than non-infected people. The risk also exists for those who have developed an asymptomatic form of Covid, but it is more moderate.

The study, however, was mainly conducted on US veterans and some researchers have pointed out that they were mostly white, elderly men, many of whom had high blood pressure and were overweight, putting them at high risk of developing diabetes from the very beginning. This was pointed out by Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, an epidemiologist who studies diabetes at the University of Wollongong in Australia.

“The risk is much lower in young people – he added – and is higher in some ethnic groups”. In addition, existing cases of diabetes may not have been detected until people have sought medical assistance following the Covid infection.

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