COVID may raise the risk of diabetes in children, CDC study says
A new study shows that once children recover from COVID-19, their chances of being diagnosed with diabetes could increase.
Health providers say some younger children who may have been pre-diabetic or are already carrying auto-immune genes, could be faced with a chronic health issue after getting COVID-19.
“If you put beta cells, which are the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, in a dish with a virus, the virus is just directly toxic to those cells,” said DHR Health endocrinologist Dr. Michelle Cordoba.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new study on Friday that found that 30 days after testing positive for COVID-19, kids under 18 had at least a 30 percent chance of being diagnosed with diabetes.
Dr. Cordoba says the factors in that study are based on a number of reasons.
“If we get infected with a virus, whether it's rotavirus or coronavirus, our body builds a defense against that to kind of attack that virus to protect our body,” Dr. Cordoba said. “Type 1 diabetes being an autoimmune disease means that our own body mistakes our pancreas and starts making antibodies to attack our own tissue.”
The report also outlines that the virus could indirectly increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes in children from weight gain caused by pandemic-related lifestyle changes.
“Our rate of obesity, childhood obesity is so high in the Valley, that we can’t really say any child with diabetes is automatically Type 1,” Dr. Cordoba said.
As the CDC continues to monitor this trend, they’re advising all healthcare providers to screen children younger than 18 for diabetes if they have tested positive for COVID-19.
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