New symptom of persistent covid: diabetes

It has recently been discovered that diabetes should be considered as a new sequel to longcovid. This follows from a study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology in which it is concluded that people who suffered from coronavirus presented a increased risk of developing diabetes or initiation of antihyperglycemic therapies. In addition, the authors objectify a greater risk the greater the severity of the illness.

For this study, they compare the new diabetes diagnosesthe start of antihyperglycemic drugs or either of the two previous situations among 181,280 people without previous diabetes who suffered from Covid-19 between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020 with 4,118,441 people without diabetes not diagnosed with coronavirus in that same period and with 4,286,911 people without diabetes in a phase prior to the pandemic, between March 1, 2019 and September 30, 2019.

The results indicate that the people who suffered from Covid-19 presented in the subsequent year an increase in the risk of developing diabetes of 40 percent (HR 1.40; CI95 percent 1.36 to 1.44) and a increased risk of starting antihyperglycemic therapies 85 percent (HR 1.85 95 percent CI 1.78 to 1.92). This increased risk carries a excess of 13.5 new cases of diabetes per 1,000 people/year and 12.3 new cases of people on antihyperglycemic treatment per 1,000 people/year.

Identification and control of diabetes

The risks of post-acute outcomes increased gradually according to the severity of the acute phase of Covid-19 – whether the patients were not hospitalized, whether they were on a ward or admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. In a post-acute phase, the report concludes that there is an increased risk of developing early diabetes or the start of the use of antihyperglycemic drugs in people who have had a severe coronavirus infection. That is why it urges the services of Endocrinology and Nutrition that the care of patients who have suffered from Covid-19 includes the identification and control of diabetes.

Pedro José Pinés Corrales, specialist doctor of Endocrinology and Nutrition at the University Hospital Complex of Albacete, makes an assessment of this report assuring Medical Writing that in light of these conclusions “inpatient and outpatient controls should include the proactive search of new cases of diabetes”. In particular, the doctor assures that once put on notice, it is necessary to “make a follow up all patients who have presented a Covid-19 infection.

Among the cases detected, the doctor urges to take into account “those people who presented severe forms of covid disease” in follow-ups that involve a new adaptation of the service that has already been modified with the emergence of the coronavirus in March 2020. During the first waves, as the specialist explains to this newspaper, “professionals focused on the diabetes management in hospitalized patients. Subsequently, efforts were focused on recovering the outpatient follow-up of patients with diabetes using resources that were not usual, until then, such as non-face-to-face visits”. Now, Endocrinology and Nutrition it must be readapted to deal with a possible increase in patients affected by diabetes as a consequence of Covid-19.

Although it may contain statements, data or notes from health institutions or professionals, the information contained in Medical Writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend the reader that any questions related to health be consulted with a health professional.

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