Can COVID-19 lead to diabetes? Here’s what you need to know
New studies show that the COVID-19 virus can attack the pancreas, destroy cells that make insulin, and cause some cases of diabetes.
During the spring of 2020, physicians in New York City, the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic at the time, noticed a considerable number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 had too much sugar in their blood, a condition called hyperglycemia that is a signature feature of diabetes.
“[My colleagues and I] found it very challenging to control the blood glucose level of some COVID-19 patients, even those without a history of diabetes,” says stem cell biologist Shuibing Chen at Weill Cornell Medicine. More surprising, says Chen, was that some patients who did not have diabetes prior to the infection, developed new-onset diabetes after recovering from COVID-19.
The COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2, is best known for wreaking havoc in the lungs and causing