People who suffer from diabetes always have more health risks when they are infected with Covid-19. A recent study by a group of researchers has found that a person who does not have diabetes, might suffer from hyperglycemia (hyper means high, glycine means glucose or sugar and mia means blood) after being infected with Covid.
The study was carried out on 551 people who were admitted to the Boston Children's Hospital in Italy from March to May 2020. It was seen that 46 per cent of the patients with no history of diabetes were found to have hyperglycemia.
According to Dr Paolo Fiorina, the lead author of the study and also a member of the Nephrology Department of the hospital, the following up of cases showed that even though most of the cases were resolved, about 35 per cent of the newly hyperglycemic patients remained so at least six months after the infection.
Hypoglycemic patients also had severe abnormalities in the number of inflammatory cytokines, including the IL-6 and others. In patients infected with Covid, the glucometabolic abnormalities decline over a period of time.
The persons who had hyperglycemia showed worse clinical concerns and stayed for a longer time in the hospitals, had a higher need of oxygen and ventilation (in some cases) and increased treatment at the intensive care unit. A report that was published in the journal 'Nature Metabolism' found that hyperglycemic patients had abnormal hormonal levels. They also had abnormal levels of pro-insulin, a precursor of insulin and makers of impaired islet beta cell function. The islet beta cells produce and secrete insulin. The hormone profile suggests that the endocrine pancreatic function is abnormal in those patients with Covid-19 and it persists long after recovery.
Hypoglycemic patients also had severe abnormalities in the number of inflammatory cytokines, including the IL-6 and others. In patients infected with Covid, the glucometabolic abnormalities decline over a period of time. In case of post-Covid infection, the (post-lunch glucose level) post-prandial glucose levels go high and there is a secretion of abnormal pancreatic hormones.
Dr Fiorina says that this indicates that the pancreas is another target of the virus affecting not only the acute phase during hospitalization but potentially also the long term health of the patient.