COVID-19 tied to diabetes diagnosis, pregnancy complications: 2 new findings

Researchers are continuously learning more about COVID-19 and how it affects certain individuals even after infection.

Below are two recent study findings that link COVID-19 to increased likelihood of diabetes development and pregnancy complications. 

1. Individuals with a past COVID-19 diagnosis are at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes within one year compared to those without past COVID-19 infection, according to a study published March 21 in The Lancet Diabetes & EndocrinologyResearchers examined U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs data on 181,280 participants who had a positive COVID-19 test between March 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021, and survived the first 30 days after diagnosis. They compared these results to control groups from 2019-20 and 2020-21 consisting of participants who never had COVID-19. Participants in all groups were free of diabetes before the study began and were followed up about a year later. The scientists found Americans who had COVID-19 were at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes within a year, a finding that held true even for people with less severe or asymptomatic forms of COVID-19, though chances of developing diabetes rose as COVID-19 severity increased.

2. COVID-19 during pregnancy can more than double the risk of negative outcomes and complications for unvaccinated individuals, compared to pregnant people without COVID-19, according to a study published March 21 by JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers analyzed data from 43,886 pregnant individuals who gave birth at Kaiser Permanente Northern California between March 1, 2020, and March 16, 2021, before vaccines were largely available to the general population. They found that COVID-19 infection during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of severe maternal morbidity, preterm birth and venous thromboembolism. Pregestational diabetes and Asian or Pacific Islander and Black race and ethnicity were associated with an increased risk of hospitalization. The study adds to a growing body of research showing the risks pregnant people with COVID-19 face, especially among those who are unvaccinated.


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