Covid-19 can more than triple the chance of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within a year of being infected, according to a new Canadian study.
Researchers analyzed health data in British Columbia, Canada from 2020 and 2021 for 629,935 people, 20% of whom were diagnosed with Covid-19 during that time. The research found that men who had even a mild case of Covid-19 were significantly more likely than non-infected men to be diagnosed with T2D, although women did not have an increased risk unless they were severely ill. However, both men and women who had severe cases were found to be at the highest risk: people who were hospitalized for Covid-19 treatment had more than a doubled risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and those who were admitted to intensive care units had more than a tripled risk.
While the authors cautioned that their findings could not say that Covid-19 causes Type 2 diabetes, they believe that the link makes sense because Covid-19 is known to impact the pancreas: “Such a stress may move a patient from a prediabetic state into diabetes,” wrote Pamela Davis, who is a former dean of the Case Western University School of Medicine in Ohio, where she is now a professor.
The researchers estimated that the increased pattern of diagnoses of diabetes following Covid-19 infection could increase the rate of the disease occurring in the general population by 3% to 5% overall.
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