Children and adolescents infected who have been infected with COVID-19 have a higher chance of developing type 1 diabetes (T1D), latest study showed.
However, the research further pointed out that it is unclear whether COVID-19 triggers the new onset of T1D. For the study over one million patients aged 18 and younger were observed and it showed that 72% increase in new diagnoses of T1D in younger COVID-19 patients in the six months following their diagnosis.
The findings have been published recently in the journal JAMA Network Open. "Type 1 diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease," said Pamela Davis, a professor at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, US, and corresponding author of the study. "It occurs mostly because the body's immune defenses attack the cells that produce insulin, thereby stopping insulin production and causing the disease.
COVID has been suggested to increase autoimmune responses, and our present finding reinforces that suggestion," Davis said. For the study, the team analysed the de-identified electronic health records of nearly 1.1 million patients aged 18 years and younger in the US and 13 other countries diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 infection between March 2020 and December 2021.