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COVID-19 may trigger new diabetes

Date: 16 June 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous


COVID-19 may trigger the onset of diabetes in healthy people, and also cause severe complications in diabetic patients, according to an international group of leading experts.



Based on clinical observations made so far, there is a bi-directional relationship between COVID-19 and diabetes.



  • Scientists have explained that diabetes, on the one hand, is associated with increased risk of COVID-19 severity and mortality with 20 to 30% of patients who died with the infectious disease reported to have diabetes.

  • They said new-onset diabetes and atypical metabolic complications of pre-existing diabetes, including life-threatening ones, have been observed in people with COVID-19.

  • Earlier studies had shown that the protein ACE-2 which binds to SARS-Cov-2 and allows the virus to enter human cells is not only located in the lungs, but also in organs and tissues involved in glucose metabolism such as the pancreas, the small intestine, the fat tissue, the liver and the kidney.

  • By entering these tissues, the virus may cause multiple and complex dysfunctions of glucose metabolism. The scientists believe it is possible that the novel coronavirus may alter glucose metabolism that could complicate the condition of pre-existing diabetes or lead to new mechanisms of disease.

  • Given the short period of human contact with this new coronavirus, the exact mechanism by which the virus influences glucose metabolism is still unclear.

  • Assessing routinely collected clinical data can help examine insulin secretory capacity, insulin resistance, and autoimmune antibody status to understand how COVID-19 related diabetes develops, its natural history, and best management.

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