Claim: Covid-19 ‘increases chance of diabetes’

The Claim: A report by Riante Padayachee entitled ‘Study finds Covid-19 increases chances of diabetes’ claimed that Covid-19 causes diabetes in up to 60 percent of those who recover from it.
The Verdict: claim verdict

Claim: A report by Riante Padayachee entitled ‘Study finds Covid-19 increases chances of diabetes’ claimed that Covid-19 causes diabetes in up to 60 percent of those who recover from it.

“COVID-19 is not just deadly to those with comorbidities like diabetes, but does in fact cause diabetes in up to 60 percent of those who recover from it,” read the claim.

Contacted for a comment, the Health desk said based on the current state of research on the subject the claim is misleading and more research is needed to fully and accurately understand how Covid-19 may interact with diabetes.  

The Health experts said scientists have observed a two-way relationship between COVID-19 and diabetes, “(1) Pre-existing diabetes is associated with an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, (2) New-onset diabetes has been observed in patients with COVID-19.

“There are two common types of diabetes. Type 1 occurs in people whose pancreatic beta cells do not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to transport glucose (sugar), the digested form of carbohydrates, into human cells to produce energy. Type 2 occurs in people whose bodies are not as sensitive to the insulin they produce. In both Type 1 and 2, cells cannot properly use or metabolize the glucose available in the blood, resulting in high blood sugar levels,” said the Health desk.

The experts said more research is needed to better understand how COVID-19 may impair our ability to metabolize glucose and the type of diabetes that is developed as a result of this potential symptom.

“Recent studies suggest that Covid-19 may preferentially infect beta cells because beta cells express three proteins that the COVID-19 virus targets to infect cells. Once infected, the coronavirus may cause beta cells to die or change the way they function. This would result in decreased insulin production and release,” they said.

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