Coronavirus booster vaccines to be offered to over 50s in Autumn
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Although not normally listed as such, one complication of a COVID-19 infection is an increased risk of diabetes.
Data from a major UK study conducted by King’s College London shows the risk of diabetes rose by 80 percent in Covid patients.
As well as a rise in the risk of diabetes, the likelihood of irregular heartbeats and blood clots in the lungs also goes up.
For those who believe Covid is like the cold or flu, this is a wake-up call.
But for those with Covid, it’s not the end of the world.
The study said the increased risk of cardiovascular disease falls back to normal seven weeks after a positive test.
However, the risk of diabetes takes longer, until six months after infection.
Speaking about the research, King’s College London’s Dr Emma Rezel-Potts said: “This is really about doctors being aware of the potential increased risk for their patients, and in particular how they can reduce the risk of diabetes in the first three months after infection through an improved diet and taking exercise.”
Although the study may come as a shock, Dr Rezel-Potts said there are factors other than Covid which may explain the steep rise.
She added that Covid patients in their study were more likely to carry too much weight and have underlying health conditions which would exacerbate the damage caused by COVID-19.
Nevertheless, the researchers said doctors should be vigilant for the signs of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Rezel-Potts added: “It’s definitely reassuring that over the longer timeframe, cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk does seem to return to baseline levels…[but] the risk of diabetes seems to be elevated for several months.”
Diabetes is a lifelong condition which causes a person’s blood sugar to become too high.
There are two types of diabetes, type one and type two.
Type one occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells which produce insulin while type two is where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin.
What is the diabetes situation in the UK?
Diabetes rates are rising, they have been on a steady upward trajectory since 2006, and they are set to rise further, and not just because of Covid.
Type two diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 percent of cases while type one makes up the other 10 percent.
Although normally a lifelong condition, people with diabetes can still live an active and fulfilling life with adequate blood sugar control.
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