Recent studies show an increased risk of diabetes for those who recovered from COVID-19, CNN reported.
Studies also found that up to 40% of those who died from COVID-19 had diabetes, The New York Times reported.
Experts told The Times they hope this leads policymakers to invest more in addressing diabetes.
Somewhere between 30% to 40% of those who died from COVID-19 in the US had diabetes, and health experts are hoping that could lead policymakers to pay more attention to the disease, The New York Times reported.
“It’s hard to overstate just how devastating the pandemic has been for Americans with diabetes,” Dr. Giuseppina Imperatore, who oversees diabetes prevention and treatment at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the paper in a story published on Sunday.
According to data from the National Institute of Health, diabetes draws less funding than diseases like cancer and heart disease despite impacting 37 million Americans.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes more than doubled in the past 20 years and 96 million Americans have prediabetes.
The Times reported that diabetes also disproportionately impacts Blacks and Latino Americans, who are more than twice as likely to get a diabetes diagnosis than white Americans. The illness which increases the risks of other ailments across the entire body needs to be closely monitored and treated, and the lack of access to healthcare for those in poorer communities means their diabetes remains uncontrolled, which makes them vulnerable to severe illness and death from COVID -19.
A recent study published earlier this month suggested that those with mild infections had a 28% chance of developing diabetes compared to those who never got COVID-19. Another study published in the Lancet, also found that people who had low to no risk factors for diabetes had a 38% increased risk after a COVID-19 infection.
CNN also reported that another study found that people who recovered from COVID-19 had a 40% increased risk of diabetes a year after infection.
These findings come as the House recently passed The Affordable Insulin Now Act, which would cap insulin prices at $35 a month starting next year. The bill, however, has the pass the Senate.
Insider reported that the measure is not likely to pass in the Senate as GOP lawmakers generally opposed government price controls in healthcare. Insulin is a necessary medication for managing diabetes and studies have found that high costs have meant patients had to ration their drugs.
Experts told The Times that state and local governments should also invest in creating programs that subsidize fresh produce and bring in supermarkets to low-earning areas. Additionally, they said policymakers should properly fund campaigns to educate the public about healthy eating and exercise.
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