All partners logo heb

Unnikrishnan, R., & Misra, A. (2021). Diabetes and COVID19: a bidirectional relationship.

Bibliographic details:

Unnikrishnan, R., & Misra, A. (2021). Diabetes and COVID19: a bidirectional relationship. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1-5.



The advent and rapid spread of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID19) pandemic across the world has focused attention on the relationship of commonly occurring comorbidities such as diabetes on the course and outcomes of this infection. While diabetes does not seem to be associated with an increased risk of COVID19 infection per se, it has been clearly demonstrated that the presence of hyperglycemia of any degree predisposes to worse outcomes, such as more severe respiratory involvement, ICU admissions, need for mechanical ventilation and mortality. Further, COVID19 infection has been associated with the development of new-onset hyperglycemia and diabetes, and worsening of glycemic control in pre-existing diabetes, due to direct pancreatic damage by the virus, body’s stress response to infection (including cytokine storm) and use of diabetogenic drugs such as corticosteroids in the treatment of severe COVID19. In addition, public health measures taken to flatten the pandemic curve (such as lockdowns) can also adversely impact persons with diabetes by limiting their access to clinical care, healthy diet, and opportunities to exercise. Most antidiabetic medications can continue to be used in patients with mild COVID19 but switching over to insulin is preferred in severe disease.