The long Covid begins to take on increasingly worrying contours, with more than one person cured of Covid out of 4 who continue to have symptoms 6-8 months after infection, according to a work published in the PLOS ONE magazine and led by Milo Puhan of the University of Zurich.
Among the most common symptoms of long-Covid not only fatigue, headaches, breathlessness, depression, but more and more numerous are the studies that highlight long-term problems of metabolic and glycemic control of the recovered, as well as cases of onset of post-Covid diabetes. in people who themselves were not even at risk for this disease.
The alarm on post-Covid metabolic and glycemic problems comes from the 41st National Congress of the Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) in progress in Rome. According to SIE President Francesco Giorgino, full professor of Endocrinology at the University of Bari Aldo Moro, “we should continue to monitor the possibility of a correlation between the new coronavirus infection and the risk of developing blood sugar changes even once cured “.
The Swiss study considered 431 individuals who tested positive for the virus between February and August 2020, 89% of whom were symptomatic. Tracked over time, it emerged that 26% of them had not made a full recovery 6-8 months after their initial COVID-19 diagnosis. 55% reported symptoms of fatigue, 25% breathlessness, 26% depressive symptoms. Long-Covid mainly affects women and those who have been hospitalized for the infection. 40% of participants reported having had at least one COVID-19-related medical visit after they recovered from the infection.
But several studies also focus attention on post-Covid glycemic and metabolic problems: “the coronavirus can infect the cells of the pancreas – explains Giorgino. Furthermore, the cytokine storm triggered by the new coronavirus infection can favor metabolic imbalances and alterations in glycemic control », he continues. In fact, it has been seen that Covid patients with normal blood glucose before infection often have increased blood glucose values during illness and that for many patients, blood glucose control disorders persist even after overcoming the new coronavirus infection. Among these is a study conducted by Laura Montefusco and Paolo Fiorina of the Division of Endocrinology, ASST Fatebenefratelli-Sacco of Milan and published in the journal Nature Metabolism, on 551 Covid patients. Experts saw that during the infection, 46% of patients had elevated blood glucose that occurred during hospitalization and that glycemic abnormalities can persist for at least two months in patients recovered from COVID. And again, again in the journal Nature Metabolism, Matthias Laudes of the Schleswig-Holstein University of Kiel, in Germany presents the case of a young patient with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, who fell ill with autoimmune or insulin-dependent diabetes. (diabetes 1) just in conjunction with the infection.
“These and numerous other clinical evidences – says Giorgino – suggest the need for further investigations on metabolic anomalies in the context of the so-called” long COVID “; it would be important to try to follow over time the subjects recovered from Covid, for example those who have manifested alterations of the blood glucose control during infection to see if changes in blood sugar persist over the long term and if these people develop diabetes.
More generally, this framework underlines the need for timely planning of resources for health care and services designed for the needs of individuals suffering from post Covid syndrome.
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