In a cohort study, unvaccinated people with COVID-19 had a 62% higher chance of developing new-onset diabetes mellitus (DM), while vaccinated individuals with breakthrough COVID-19 infections had a 21% lower risk, researchers report. Further, the more vaccine doses a person received, the lower their chances of new-onset DM. “These findings emphasize the imperative of widespread vaccination to mitigate diabetes risk and the need for tailored strategies for diverse demographic groups to ensure equitable protection,” the authors write. “The protective impact of COVID-19 vaccination is more pronounced among the Black/African American population than other ethnic groups.” Previous studies had reported a bidirectional correlation between diabetes and SARS-CoV-2 infection, but the effects of vaccination had not been investigated.
Two cohorts were studied using the TriNetX database. In the first, the risk of new-onset DM was assessed in 1.6 million people infected or not infected with SARS-CoV-2. The second cohort included 83,829 vaccinated and 83,829 unvaccinated COVID-19 survivors from the same time period. Kaplan-Meier analysis was conducted to calculate the incidence of new-onset DM.
“The initial cohort of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 had a 65% increased risk (HR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.62–1.68) of developing new-onset DM relative to noninfected individuals,” the authors write. “In the second cohort, we observed that vaccinated patients had a 21% lower risk of developing new-onset DM in comparison with unvaccinated COVID-19 survivors (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.73–0.86). Subgroup analyses by sex, age, race, and BMI yielded similar results. These findings were consistent in sensitivity analyses and cross-validation with an independent dataset from TriNetX.”