A new study has estimated the prevalence of new-onset type 2 diabetes following COVID-19 infection. 

Despite the availability of vaccinations and other treatments for the COVID-19 pandemic, over 6.5 million people globally have died and the threat to public health and the economy remains. 

To estimate the prevalence of new-onset diabetes in COVID-19 patients, researchers did a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature. 

With no language or publication time/year constraints, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Web of Science, Embase, and PubMed databases were systematically searched for papers containing keywords linked to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and diabetes.

Studies were included if the primary exposure was COVID-19, as defined by International Classification of Diseases codes,  new-onset diabetes was reported, and relative associations were determined between hospitalised patients and population controls. 

There were nine studies with almost 40 million participants. The average follow-up time ranged from 64 to 352 days across studies.

Researchers found that patients of all ages and genders exhibited an increased incidence and relative risk of a new diabetes diagnosis following COVID-19. 

For new-onset diabetes, special care should be provided during the first three months of follow-up following COVID-19.

Overall, there were 15.53 new-onset diabetes cases per 1,000 person-years of follow-up.

The relative risk of diabetes following COVID-19 was 1.62 when compared to controls.

The study was published in the journal BMC Medicine.

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