The specialists have set up the CoviDiab Registry to gather data on the problem from doctors to establish its extent and how best to treat it.
“Diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases, and we are now realizing the consequences of the inevitable clash between two pandemics,” says Francesco Rubino, professor of metabolic surgery at King’s College London in the United Kingdom and co-lead investigator of the project.
“Given the short period of human contact with this new coronavirus, the exact mechanism by which the virus influences glucose metabolism is still unclear, and we don’t know whether the acute manifestation of diabetes in these patients represents classic type 1, type 2, or possibly a new form of diabetes.”
One of the most important questions will be whether patients who develop diabetes in this way remain at higher risk for the condition after leaving the hospital.
Paul Zimmet, professor of diabetes at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and a co-lead investigator in the project says: “We don’t yet know the magnitude of new-onset diabetes in COVID-19 and if it will persist or resolve after the infection, and if so, whether or not COVID-19 increases risk of future diabetes.
“By establishing this global registry, we are calling on the international medical community to rapidly share relevant clinical observations that can help answer these questions.”