‘Clash of the pandemics’: Covid may trigger diabetes in healthy ...

World

‘Clash of the pandemics’: Covid may trigger diabetes in healthy people

The virus creates a ‘critical mass of dysfunction’, generating full-blown disease, experts say

Jessica Carpani

Covid-19 may be triggering the onset of diabetes in previously healthy people, experts have warned.

New-onset diabetes is being observed in patients who have tested positive for the virus, an international group of 17 leading diabetes experts wrote in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Saturday. It remains unclear exactly how the virus that causes Covid-19 interacts with diabetes. But research has shown that ACE-2, the protein that binds to the virus and allows it to enter human cells, is not only located in the lungs but also in organs and tissues involved in glucose metabolism such as the pancreas, small intestine, fat tissue, liver and kidneys.

Researchers believe that by entering these tissues, the virus may cause   a number of complex dysfunctions of glucose metabolism. It has been known for many years that virus infections can precipitate type 1 diabetes. A Global Registry of new cases of diabetes in patients with Covid-19, the CoviDiab Registry project, has now been established...

This article is reserved for Times Select subscribers.
A subscription gives you full digital access to all Times Select content.

Times Select

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.