Why are diabetics at more risk during Covid-19?

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Diabetes is one of the most frequent comorbidities in people with Covid-19. Its prevalence varies between 7 and 30%. This article investigates the potential association between diabetes and Covid-19. Specifically, we explore whether individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19. We will also examine whether Covid-19 infection increases the risk of developing diabetes.

Are diabetics at a higher risk of getting infected with Covid-19?

Not exactly. There is not enough data to show whether people with diabetes are more likely to get Covid-19 than the general population. However, infected diabetics are at risk of having worse outcomes than others. 

Diabetics are vulnerable once they contract Covid-19 infection and have a higher chance of serious complications. Managing viral infections in individuals with diabetes can be challenging, as their fluctuating blood glucose levels and diabetes-related complications can make treatment more difficult. This is primarily due to two factors. Firstly, their weakened immune system makes it harder to combat the virus, potentially prolonging the recovery process. Secondly, elevated blood glucose levels may create an environment in which the virus can thrive.

Also, diabetes is associated with other conditions like hypertension and heart disease, which makes patients more prone to complications.

Therefore, individualized blood glucose control must be done in order to reduce the incidence of complications. 

Does the risk of diabetes increase after Covid-19?

It is possible. Research states that people who have had Covid-19 have an increased risk for new-onset diabetes, which is one of the most significant contributors to cardiovascular disease. According to a large-scale study, even individuals who experience a mild SARS-CoV-2 infection may have an increased risk of developing diabetes up to a year after contracting Covid-19 compared to those who have never been infected. This suggests that Covid-19 may be a risk factor for the development of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association even states that youth younger than 18 years old with Covid-19 seem to be at a higher risk of developing diabetes.

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