EAST LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- There’s a new health concern amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The risk of diabetes in children has increased for those diagnosed with COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is out with a new study that looked at more than a half a million kids with COVID-19 and compared them with children who have never had it.
“A study was shown that there’s an association of increased risk for diabetes in children under age 18 after COVID infection,” said Dr. John Kelley with Redwood Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
A new study conducted by the CDC has found a possible link between COVID-19 and an increased risk of diabetes in children. Western Mass News spoke with Kelley to find out what people should be aware of.
“It’s important to emphasize that it’s an association, it’s not a causality. Does it mean that COVID is causing diabetes? That’s not been determined at all,” Kelley explained.
According to the CDC, the study looked at databases with information for over 2.5 million patients under age 18. They found that children diagnosed with COVID-19 were about two-and-a-half times more likely to receive a new diabetes diagnosis. Kelley said this new research is something to be aware of, but nothing to be overly concerned about it. He noted that parents should pay attention to warning signs of diabetes in children.
“Increased thirst, increase hunger, unexplained weight loss, increased urination to the point the child is getting up multiple times a night…Those are all signs, even before COVID, of signs and warnings of diabetes,” Kelley noted.
Just last week, 580,000 children tested positive for COVID-19, according to a weekly report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association. Kelley said the best advice for concerned parents is to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19.
“What does this mean? What should be an action point that we should all take based upon this data? and the action point is please get vaccinated,” Kelley said.
Kelley is also continuing to conduct heart screenings for children 12 years and older who had COVID-19 before they return to sports, but he stressed they are only screening for very rare complications.
“We only need to screen for folks that have had prolonged symptoms…Certainly, one is more than four days of fever, certainly anyone that was admitted to the hospital, and certainly, anyone that’s been in ICU before they can resume sports, they have to be cleared from a cardiovascular standpoint,” Kelley explained.