Case Western Reserve University Researchers Warn More Children And Teenagers Are Developing Type One Diabetes As A Result Of COVID-19!
A new study by researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Ohio-USA and The MetroHealth System-Ohio-USA has found that SARS-CoV-2 infections are associated with increase in new diagnoses of type 1 diabetes in youth, by as much as 72%!
Already the incidence of new-onset type 1 diabetes (T1D) increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this increase has been associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The US CDC reported that pediatric patients with COVID-19 were more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes after infection, although types 1 and 2 were not separated.
Hence, whether COVID-19 was associated with new-onset T1D among youths remains unclear.
The study team conducted a cohort study to assess whether there was an increase in new diagnoses of T1D among pediatric patients after COVID-19.
Study data were obtained using TriNetX Analytics Platform, a web-based database of deidentified electronic health records of more than 90 million patients, from the Global Collaborative Network, which includes 74 large health care organizations across 50 US states and 14 countries with diverse representation of geographic regions, self-reported race, age, income, and insurance types.
The study population comprised pediatric patients in 2 cohorts: (1) patients aged 18 years or younger with SARS-CoV-2 infection between March 2020 and December 2021 and (2) patients aged 18 years or younger without SARS-CoV-2 infection but with non–SARS-CoV-2 respiratory infection during the same period. SARS-CoV-2 infection was defined as described in prior studies. These cohorts were subdivided into groups aged 0 to 9 years and 10 to 18 years.
The study population included 1 091 494 pediatric patients: 314 917 with COVID-19 and 776 577 with non–COVID-19 respiratory infections. The matched cohort included 571 256 pediatric patients: 285 628 with COVID-19 and 285 628 with non–COVID-19 respiratory infections.
The study findings showed that by 6 months after COVID-19, 123 patients (0.043%) had received a new diagnosis of T1D, but only 72 (0.025%) were diagnosed with T1D within 6 months after non–COVID-19 respiratory infection.
Significantly, at 1, 3, and 6 months after infection, risk of diagnosis of T1D was greater among those infected with SARS-CoV-2 compared with those with non–COVID-19 respiratory infection (1 month: HR, 1.96 [95%CI, 1.26-3.06]; 3 months: HR, 2.10 [95% CI, 1.48-3.00]; 6 months: HR, 1.83 [95% CI, 1.36-2.44]) and in subgroups of patients aged 0 to 9 years, a group unlikely to develop type 2 diabetes, and 10 to 18 years. Similar increased risks were observed among children infected with SARS-CoV-2 compared with other control cohorts at 6 months (fractures: HR, 2.09 [95% CI, 1.41- 3.10]; well child visits: HR, 2.10 [95% CI, 1.61- 2.73]).
The study findings clearly showed that children and youths aged 18 and below who were infected with COVID-19 showed a substantially higher risk of de
veloping type 1 diabetes (T1D).
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: JAMA Network Open.
The study findings clearly shows that children and adolescents who contracted COVID-19 were more prone to developing T1D in the six months following their COVID diagnosis.
The study findings also showed a 72% increase in new diagnoses of T1D in COVID-19 patients 18 years old and younger.
About 187,000 children and adolescents younger than 18 live with T1D nationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Corresponding author, Dr Pamela Davis, the Distinguished University Professor and The Arline H. and Curtis F. Garvin Research Professor at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine told Thailand Medical News
, "Type 1 diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease. 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."
The study team analyzed the de-identified electronic health records of nearly 1.1 million patients age 18 years and younger in the United States and 13 other countries diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 infection between March 2020 and December 2021 and also those diagnosed with a non-COVID-related respiratory infection during that same period.
The study population was further divided into two groups: patients up to age 9 years and those age 10–18 years. After careful statistical matching to account for age, demographics and family history of diabetes, there were 285,628 in each group for a total of 571,256 patients.
The study findings showed that among the more than 571,000 pediatric patients, within six months of SARS-CoV2 infection, 123 patients (0.043%) had received a new diagnosis of T1D, compared to 72 patients (0.025%) who received a new diagnosis following a non-COVID respiratory infection, an increase of 72% in new diagnoses.
Importantly, at one, three and six months following infection, the risk of diagnosis of T1D was substantially greater for those infected with SARS-CoV2 compared to those with non-COVID respiratory infections. Similar results were reported with patients in the infant-9-year-old and 10- to 18-year-old age groups.
Professor Davis added, "Families with high risk of type 1 diabetes in their children should be especially alert for symptoms of diabetes following COVID, and pediatricians should be alert for an influx of new cases of type 1 diabetes, especially since the Omicron variant of COVID spreads so rapidly among children. We may see a substantial increase in this disease in the coming months to years. Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong challenge for those who have it, and increased incidence represents substantial numbers of children afflicted."
Co-corresponding author, Dr Rong Xu, professor of Biomedical Informatics at the School of Medicine and director of the Center for Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery said that further research is needed to examine if the increased risk of new onset T1D following SARS-CoV2 infection in pediatric patients will persist, who are vulnerable, and how to treat COVID-19 associated T1D in children.
Professor Xu further added, "We are also investigating possible changes in development of type 2 diabetes in children following SARS-CoV2 infection.”
Type 1 diabetes or T1D is most common in children while type 2 diabetes (T2D) is known as "adult-onset diabetes" and develops over time, often as the patient becomes resistant to the effects of insulin and later, as the pancreas stops making enough insulin, according to the U.S. CDC.
The study team also included Dr David Kaelber, professor of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, and medical students Ellen Kendall and Veronica Olaker.
Past COVID-related studies led by the study team have found that the risk factor for Alzheimer's disease increases by 50–80% in older adults who caught COVID and that individuals with dementia are twice as likely to contract COVID.
Thailand Medical News
had also reported about SARS-CoV-2 causing the onset of Diabetes based on various studies and reports over the last 33 months.
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