(File photo)

MANILA – Persons with diabetes who received their booster shots are less likely to get hospitalized due to the coronavirus, a health expert said Thursday.

In a televised public briefing, Philippine Society of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism member Dr. Carol Montano said the number of patients with diabetes who were hospitalized because of Covid-19 had gone down, both locally and abroad, since the administration of booster shots started.

Citing studies of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Diabetes Association, Montano said booster shots provide extra layer of protection against Covid-19 for individuals suffering from diabetes.

"'Di po naging enough 'yung full dose eh, marami sa mga maysakit na diabetes, after four months nagkaroon po sila ulit nung either new variant na Covid-19 (Receving the full dose [primary series] was not enough, many of those who have diabetes, they had either the new variant of Covid-19 after four months)," she added.

Different hospitals locally and abroad have observed that the number of individuals with diabetes have increased during the pandemic compared to previous years.

It was also observed that people who survived Covid-19 are more prone to have diabetes, Montano said.

"Meron po tayong tinatawag na new onset diabetes dahil sa pagkakaroon ng Covid. Nakita po ito sa isang meta analysis na 'yung 18 years old and above nakakita po tayo ng pagtaas sa pagdami ng kaso (We have what is called new onset diabetes after having Covid. A meta analysis showed that diabetes cases among individuals 18 years old and above increased)," she added.

One factor would be most patients already have high blood sugar level prior to Covid-19 infection without them knowing it.

"Nakikita natin last year and this year na 'yung mga 140 and above diabetic na pala for 6 months or 3 months dahil sa pagmo-monitor natin sa blood sugar the more nade-detect natin na marami na palang pre-diabetic (We saw that last year and this year that those [who have a blood sugar level of] 140 and above were already diabetic six or three months [earlier] because of blood sugar monitoring more pre-diabetic people are detected)," Montano said.

Since diabetes remains even after a person recovers from Covid-19, Montano encouraged people who have the disease to monitor their blood sugar levels even if they are fully vaccinated and boosted.

There are other complications apart from Covid-19 that they can get if blood sugar levels are not monitored, she said. (PNA)