COVID-19 Associated with Type 1 Diabetes in Children

Nov, 2020 - By WMR

COVID-19 Associated with Type 1 Diabetes in Children

According to the researchers, data on new-onset type 1 diabetes during the pandemic is limited, especially in children.

The novel coronavirus is placing significant stress on individuals of all ages across the world. Amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, older adults around the world face the greatest threats and challenges. The virus may cause severe disease in high-risk people, such as those weakened immune systems and those (older adults) with underlying health conditions such as cancer, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are at high risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. Although most adolescents and children appear to be spared by the virus, a new study has tied the infection to an increased risk of type 1 diabetes in children.

The research team from Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has found a connection between the novel coronavirus and type 1 diabetes in children. Data on new-onset type 1 diabetes during the pandemic is limited, especially in children. Some studies suggest that the autoimmune disease (a condition arising from an abnormal immune response of an organ in the body) may develop along with the virus. During this research, the researchers examined COVID-19 patients across north-west London, some of whom have reported increased diabetes.

Around 30 children have reported type 1 diabetes (new-onset) during the peak of the pandemic. Moreover, the team found that some children newly diagnosed with diabetes have active coronavirus infection or had antibodies, which means they had been infected with the virus in the past. According to the researchers, extensive testing was not available during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, so there may be children with type 1 diabetes who were not tested for COVID-19. Moreover, the team revealed that around 70% of children with new-onset type 1 diabetes showed diabetic ketoacidosis, a severe and life-threatening condition that occurs in people with diabetes. The research was published in the Diabetes Care journal.

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