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Risk for Type 1 Diabetes in Children May Rise After COVID-19

Increased risk persists for up to six months postinfection for pediatric patients aged 0 to 18 years

TUESDAY, Oct. 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Risk for a new diagnosis of type 1 diabetes (T1D) may persist for up to six months following severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in children, according to a research letter published online Sept. 23 in JAMA Network Open.

Ellen K. Kendall, from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, and colleagues used deidentified electronic health records from the TriNetX Analytics Platform to identify 314,917 patients aged 18 years or younger with SARS-CoV-2 infection between March 2020 and December 2021 and 776,577 propensity-matched patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection but with a non-SARS-CoV-2 respiratory infection during the same time period.

The researchers found that at one, three, and six months after infection, the risk for a diagnosis of T1D was greater among those who had experienced SARS-CoV-2 infection than among those who had experienced non-SARS-CoV-2 respiratory infection (one month: hazard ratio [HR], 1.96; three months: HR, 2.10; six months: HR, 1.83). Results were similar for patients aged 0 to 9 years and 10 to 18 years. When examining other pediatric control cohorts at six months, an increased risk for T1D persisted among children infected with SARS-CoV-2 (visits for fractures: HR, 2.09; well-child visits: HR, 2.10).

“The increased risk of new-onset T1D after COVID-19 adds an important consideration for risk-benefit discussions for prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pediatric populations,” the authors write.

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