People with diabetes who get sick with COVID-19 are more at risk for severe complications or death from the virus. But a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that the converse may also be true: that COVID-19 may make certain people – children and teens, in fact – more likely to develop type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Specifically, the CDC’s report issued on January 7, 2022 found that individuals under age 18 with COVID-19 were much more likely to receive a new diabetes diagnosis more than 30 days after infection than those without COVID-19. The report joins other studies that also suggest adults may be at an increased risk of developing diabetes after fully recovering from COVID-19.
The CDC researchers analyzed two large U.S. health insurance claims databases, comparing data among kids who had COVID-19 to children who did not catch the virus between March 1, 2020, and early-to-mid-2021.
Both data sets revealed a significant increase in diabetes diagnoses among youths who had contracted COVID-19, but to different degrees: One set showed diabetes risk was 166 percent higher among those who had the virus, while the other showed the risk was 31 percent higher.
How the virus that causes COVID-19 “might lead to incident diabetes is likely complex and could differ by Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes,” the researchers wrote. They emphasized the importance of monitoring and screening children for diabetes in the months after a COVID-19 diagnosis. Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, increased hunger, frequent urination, fatigue, weight loss, nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting.
The takeaway, the researchers said, was “the importance of COVID-19 prevention strategies, including vaccination, for all eligible persons in this age group, in addition to chronic disease prevention and management.”
Currently, children age four and under cannot receive any COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. More data on the Pfizer shot’s efficacy for that age group is expected by April.
Children between the ages of 5 to 17 can receive the Pfizer vaccine; ages 18 and up can receive either Pfizer or Moderna. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is still available as a first shot for adults, but the CDC recommends getting one of the other two brands as a booster. Everyone ages 16 and up is currently eligible for a booster.
Those With Diabetes Must Stay Vigilant Against COVID
Individuals with diabetes, whether kids, teens, or adults, must remain highly vigilant against acquiring COVID-19, given its disproportionately severe impact on them.
Effectively managing your diabetes is one of the most important things you can do to lower your risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19. Accurate and frequent monitoring of glucose levels is an indispensable part of those efforts. Fortunately, advancements in glucose monitoring technology have made controlling your glucose levels more effortless than ever.
Traditional glucose monitoring involves pricking a finger multiple times a day to test blood samples, an inconvenient and uncomfortable burden. Now, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) allows those with diabetes to avoid finger-pricking through the use of a tested, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device.
Contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.