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Assessing the impact of usage of steroids among newly detected diabetes patients in a study among covid-19 patients across India

Journal of Diabetes, Metabolic Disorders & Control
Anuj Maheshwari,1 Amod Kumar Sachan,2 Abhishek Shukla,3 Dhruvi Hasnani,4 Meenakshi Bhattacharya,5 M Mukhyaprana Prabhu,6 Divya Saxena,7 Bidita Khandelwal,8 CL Nawal,9 Brij Mohan Makkar,10 Sajid Ansari,11 Prahlad Chawla,12 Prabhat Agrawal,13 Ashish Saxena,14 Narsingh Verma,15 Banshi Saboo,16 Uday Pratap Singh,17 Vanshika Arora,18 Vipul Chavda4


Background: There is a bidirectional relationship between COVID-19 and diabetes. New-onset diabetes and severe metabolic complications of pre-existing diabetes in patients with COVID-19 have been observed. Steroids are medications used for treatment of several diseases, including COVID-19. Its pharmacological action increases blood glucose and poses additional challenges in the management.
Aim: To study the impact of steroids on newly detected diabetes patients with a history of COVID-19 in a cohort group.
Method: 2263 patients from 15 different sites across India were analysed following a specific eligibility criterion. The patients were segregated into three groups - No steroids, Low steroids [less than or equal to the median dose (50mg)], and High steroids [greater than the median dose (50mg)]. Two-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) test was used to test the relationship between Diabetes status and Steroid usage.
Results: The steroid dosage for the management of COVID-19 in the Newly-Detected Diabetes (NDD) group received higher doses of steroids. All steroid doses were adjusted and standardized to prednisolone 5mg. The average maximum doses of steroids used in the management of COVID-19 for NDD was 86.6 mg/day. Within the NDD group, those who received a lower steroid dose had a higher HRCT score as compared to the No steroid and High steroid groups. Also, amongst all patients who did not receive steroids for management of COVID-19, NDD had a statistically higher HRCT score.
Conclusion: The prevailing hypothesis that increased application of steroids causes diabetes-like disease spectrums in patients recovering from COVID-19. The findings however require reconsidering steroid usage as the leading cause of COVID-induced diabetes.


coronavirus disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes group, diabetic ketoacidosis