CLEVELAND – A recent Cleveland Clinic study looked at whether those who contract COVID-19 are at higher risker for developing Type 2 diabetes. And according to the findings, that does not appear to be the case.
“What we found was that we’re identifying more cases of Type 2 diabetes, but we don’t think it was related specifically to COVID-19. Rather, that it was that COVID-19 resulted in them being seen by the healthcare system for us to pick up an undiagnosed condition,” explained Kevin Pantalone, MD, endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic and one of the lead authors on the study.
Dr. Pantalone said previous reports claimed COVID-19 could potentially cause Type 2 diabetes due to a sudden spike in blood sugar.
However, their research found a different explanation for why some with COVID-19 were being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
He said what’s likely happening is they already had the condition but just didn’t know it until they sought out treatment for the virus.
Data shows there are 37 million people in the United States with diabetes, largely Type 2, and about 9 million are undiagnosed.
“So it’s very important for people to make sure they are following up with their healthcare providers for the routine screening tests that are recommended to pick up disease,” Dr. Pantalone advised.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes in adults between the ages of 35 and 70 who are overweight or have obesity.