ADA: Diabetes May Quadruple Risk for Long COVID


WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2022 — Diabetes may increase the risk for long COVID symptoms fourfold, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association, held from June 3 to 7 in New Orleans.

Jessica Harding, Ph.D., from the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues performed a scoping review of the literature to assess whether diabetes is a risk factor for postacute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC). The analysis included seven peer-reviewed, full-text observational research studies published in English between Jan. 1, 2020, and Jan. 27, 2022, that reported on the risk for PASC in people with and without diabetes with a minimum of four weeks of follow-up after COVID-19 diagnosis.

The researchers report that 43 percent of studies identified diabetes as a potent risk factor for PASC. However, studies were heterogeneous with regard to PASC definitions (e.g., ongoing symptoms of fatigue, cough, dyspnea, etc.), populations at risk (hospitalized versus nonhospitalized), and follow-up times (range, four weeks to seven months).

“As time goes on, we are seeing the negative impacts that long COVID has on the daily lives of patients. Though more research is needed, we now know that patients with diabetes are at a disproportionate risk of long COVID and that these patients should be closely monitored,” Harding said in a statement. “Careful monitoring of glucose levels in at-risk individuals may help to mitigate excess risk and reduce the burden of lingering symptoms that inhibit their overall well-being.”

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