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Diseases & Conditions
Diabetes risk increases after COVID-19 diagnosis
- By Maureen Salamon, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch
Research we’re watching
People who recover from COVID 19 face a significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.
The study, published online March 16, 2022, by Diabetologia, reviewed data on 8.8 million people across Germany from March 2020 through July 2021. In that time, 35,865 people were diagnosed with COVID-19. These patients were compared against a control group of the same size (average age 43; 46% women) who weren’t diagnosed with COVID-19 but had experienced short-term upper respiratory tract infections, which frequently are caused by other viruses. The two groups were matched for factors such as gender, age, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, past heart attack or stroke, and the month they were diagnosed with COVID-19 or an upper respiratory infection.
Compared with people in the control group, those who recovered from COVID-19 were 28% more likely to develop diabetes in the months afterward. Researchers noted that most people who experience mild COVID-19 are unlikely to develop diabetes, but recommended that people who’ve had the infection stay alert for warning signs such as increased thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue.
Image: © SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images
About the Author
Maureen Salamon, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch
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Living Well with Diabetes
Living Well with Diabetes helps you better understand and manage your diabetes. It includes detailed, updated information about medications and alternative treatments for diabetes, and a special section on weight-loss strategies. You’ll also learn the basics of how your body metabolizes sugar, how and when to monitor your blood sugar, and how to cope with both short- and long-term complications of the disease. Most importantly, you’ll see that it’s not just possible to live with diabetes — it’s possible to live well.
- Recognizing the symptoms
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- Weight-loss strategies for diabetes
- Alternative treatments for diabetes
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