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Study finds Covid-19 infection raises risk of diabetes and heart disease diagnoses in following weeks

Patients who contract Covid-19 are at increased risk of being diagnosed with cardiovascular disorders and diabetes in the three months following infection, although the risk then declines back to baseline levels, a large UK study has found.

Researchers from King’s College London say patients recovering from Covid-19 should be advised to consider measures to reduce diabetes risk including adopting a healthy diet and taking exercise.

The GP medical records from more than 428,650 Covid-19 patients were matched with the same number of controls and followed up to January 2022. All patients with pre-existing diabetes or cardiovascular disease were excluded from the study, published in the open access journal PLOS Medicine.

According to the analysis, diabetes mellitus diagnoses were increased by 81% in acute covid-19 and remained elevated by 27% from 4 to 12 weeks after infection.

Lead study author Emma Rezel-Potts said, “While it is in the first four weeks that covid-19 patients are most at risk of these outcomes, the risk of diabetes mellitus remains increased for at least 12 weeks. Clinical and public health interventions focusing on reducing diabetes risk among those recovering from covid-19 over the longer term may be beneficial.”

The researchers said that people without pre-existing cardiovascular disease or diabetes who become infected with covid-19 do not appear to have a long term increase in incidence of these conditions.

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Source: BMJ, 22 July 2022


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