(HealthDay News) — The risk and 12-month burden of incident diabetes is increased for individuals in the postacute phase of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, according to a study published online in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Yan Xie, MPH, and Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, from the VA Saint Louis Health Care System, examined the postacute risk and burden of incident diabetes in a cohort of 181,280 individuals who had a positive COVID-19 test between March 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021, and survived the first 30 days of SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with contemporary controls (4,118,441 individuals) and historical controls (4,286,911 participants enrolled between March 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, 2019).

The researchers found that in the postacute phase of the disease, people with COVID-19 had an increased risk for (hazard ratio, 1.40) and excess burden of incident diabetes (13.46 per 1000 people at 12 months) compared with the contemporary control group; in addition, they had an increased risk (hazard ratio, 1.85) and excess burden (12.35 per 1,000 people) of incident antihyperglycemic use. In analyses that estimated the risk for a composite end point of incident diabetes or antihyperglycemic use, the hazard ratio was 1.46 and excess burden was 18.03 per 1000 people at 12 months. There was an increase in a graded manner in the risks and burdens of postacute outcomes based on the severity of COVID-19. In analyses using historical controls as the reference, all results were consistent.

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“Current evidence suggests that diabetes is a facet of the multifaceted long COVID syndrome and that postacute care strategies of people with COVID-19 should include identification and management of diabetes,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text