WEDNESDAY, March 2, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Among patients hospitalized for COVID-19, individuals with newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus (NDDM) at the time of admission had lower readings for glycemic parameters and higher levels of inflammatory markers than those with preexisting DM, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in the Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications.

Sara J. Cromer, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study of individuals admitted with COVID-19 and DM between March and September 2020 who were followed through July 2021.

The researchers found that 31.2 percent of the 1,902 individuals admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 had DM; 13.0 percent of these individuals had NDDM. NDDM was more common than preexisting DM in younger patients and was less common in those of non-Hispanic White race/ethnicity. Patients with NDDM had lower glycemic parameters and higher inflammatory markers. NDDM was associated with a lower insulin requirement, longer length of stay, and intensive care unit admission, but not death, in adjusted models. At a median follow-up of 323 days, 56.3 percent of the 64 survivors with NDDM continued to have DM; 40.6 percent regressed to normoglycemia and prediabetes, and two were unable to be classified.

“Our results suggest that acute insulin resistance is the major mechanism underlying newly diagnosed diabetes in most patients with COVID-19, and that insulin deficiency, if it occurs at all, is generally not permanent,” Cromer said in a statement. “These patients may only need insulin or other medications for a short time, and it’s therefore critical that physicians closely follow them to see if and when their conditions improve.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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