According to a new study, testing positive for COVID-19 infection, is linked to an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes in children. Researchers from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health took help from the national health data to analyse the new diagnoses of type 1 diabetes in two years post the beginning of Coronavirus pandemic. The conclusion was that children who had tested positive for COVID-19 were around at a 60% higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
Conducted by Hanne Lovdal Gulseth and Dr German Tapia, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway, and colleagues, the researchers examined the risk in 30 days after a Covid infection gets confirmed using a PCR test. Another study from Scotland presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes conference, which was also on youngsters found that there was a greater risk even in a month after the viral disease, however, after that, the experts said, they found no correlation.
The scientists in both these studies mentioned that their findings do not indicate that there is surely a cause and effect link between Covid infection and diabetes. They stressed on the point that there are other possible factors, such as delay in getting care in the Coronavirus pandemic, the transmission of other viruses and lifestyle moderations in lockdowns.
Dr Hanne Lovdal Gulseth, lead author and Research Director at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, said, "Our nationwide study suggests a possible association between COVID-19 and new-onset type 1 diabetes. However, the absolute risk of developing type 1 diabetes increased from 0.08% to 0.13%, and is still low. The vast majority of young people who get COVID-19 will not go on to develop type 1 diabetes but it is important that clinicians and parents are aware of the signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes. Constant thirst, frequent urination, extreme fatigue and unexpected weight loss are tell-tale symptoms."
Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, an associate professor at the University of Oxford’s Nuffield department of primary care health sciences, said, "Though there are a number of credible reasons why Covid-19 might lead to development of type 1 diabetes, this remains in no way proven."