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Study shows that COVID-19 may increase diabetes risk in children: 3 things parents need to know

Children who have recovered from COVID-19 may have increased risk of developing diabetes, according to a new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, which looked at a database of more than 2.5 million patients under the age of 18, found that children diagnosed with COVID-19 were at increased risk of receiving a new diabetes diagnosis a month or so. about 2.5 times more after infection.

Healthcare data, taken from the first full year of pandemic caused by corona virus, suggesting that other infections unrelated to COVID were not found to be associated with an increased risk of diabetes diagnosis, researchers must search for reasons for this possible association between COVID and diabetes diagnosis.

A possible link between COVID-19 and an increased risk of diabetes has also been found in adults. In June, Two studies have been released that suggests the virus is capable of infecting pancreatic beta cells, reducing insulin secretion and causing Type 1 diabetes effectively.

In type 1 diabetes, the body completely stops producing insulin, requiring daily insulin injections, either through injections or an insulin pump, to stay alive.

In type 2 diabetes, the body continues to make insulin but develops insulin resistance, meaning the cells do not respond to insulin correctly.

The new CDC study of children 18 years of age and younger, published Friday, included cases of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in its analysis.

The renewed concern for children comes as the United States continues to see the most dramatic rise in COVID-19 infections, which are hitting children hard.

Just last week, 580,000 children test positive for COVID-19, nearly three times more than two weeks earlier, according to a weekly report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

Here are three things parents need to know about kids, COVID-19 and diabetes.

1. Not all children with COVID will develop diabetes.

Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D., vice president of research at Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a nonprofit focused on type 1 diabetes research and advocacy, says parents should know that new research shows a link between COVID-19 and diabetes, but it has not been determined how the virus might or whether it actually increases the risk of diabetes. in children.

“I don’t necessarily sound the alarm that it’s increasing type 1 diabetes,” says Dutta. “There’s still no mechanism to show that it’s doing it or how it’s doing it.”

The study did not include information on people who may have had pre-existing conditions that could lead to diabetes and did not include laboratory data confirming new diagnoses.

The study also did not include people without commercial health insurance, excluding more than a third of children in the US

2. Vaccinations are still important.

The study’s findings underscore the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19, According to CDC.

Currently, all children 5 years of age and older are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Children 12 years of age and older, and some immunocompromised children, ages 5 to 11, are also now eligible for a third dose of Pfizer vaccine.

Pediatricians say vaccine safety demonstrated more than uncertainty about potential complications from COVID-19 in children.

Dr. Stanley Spinner, lead researcher: “We’ve never had a vaccine that we’ve ever given, 100 years ago, a long time ago suddenly came something that wasn’t there. within the first two to three or four months”. medical officer and vice president of Texas Pediatrics and Children’s Urgent Care Texas, told ABC News earlier this month. “So we are very confident about the long-term safety of these vaccines.”

He continued: “What we don’t know is the long-term effects of COVID on children, even if they get over it now. “Parents need to know that if your child has COVID and seems fine with it, great, but what will happen could be six months or a year or five years from now, because we definitely don’t know.”

3. There are warning signs of diabetes to watch out for.

The CDC is urging parents, pediatricians, and caregivers to be aware of the warning signs of diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes include extreme thirst, hunger, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision and fatigue, According to CDC.

Dutta added that parents should be on the lookout for unusual behaviors in their children.

“Any unusual pattern of change in behavior over a short period of time is what I would take as a sign of needing to consult a doctor,” he said. “It’s not intentional, but it’s easy to overlook some of the signs of illness.”

Worried parents should contact their child’s medical provider, or, in the event of an emergency, seek help immediately. According to Dutta, a delay in diagnosis can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication of diabetes that can be life-threatening.

Usually, a diagnosis of diabetes can be made through a blood test.

Sony Salzman and Robert Rowe of ABC News, a resident of the ABC News Medical Unit, contributed to this report.

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Wellness/study-finds-covid-19-increase-risk-diabetes-kids/story?id=82212416 Study shows that COVID-19 may increase diabetes risk in children: 3 things parents need to know

Emma Bowman

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