An international group of diabetes experts believes that some people may develop diabetes for the first time due to severe COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They have set up a registry to investigate the possible link and inform future treatment.
Diabetes develops when the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels breaks down. It can either result from damage to beta cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin, known as type 1 diabetes, or from the body becoming insensitive to the hormone, which leads to type 2 diabetes.
A panel of 17 diabetes specialists from around the world suspect that there is a two-way relationship between diabetes and COVID-19.
In a letter to The New England Journal of Medicine, they wrote that while experts know that having diabetes can increase a person’s risk of severe COVID-19, some evidence shows that people may develop diabetes for the first time as a result of the infection.