Impaired glucose regulation (IGR) is common world-wide, and is correlated with Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) the virus that causes Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, no systematic reviews are available on the topic, and little is known about the strength of the evidence underlying published associations. The current systematic review identified consistent, reproducible associations but several limitations were observed including: (1) a consistent lack of robust confounder adjustment for risk factors collected prior to infection; (2) lack of data on insulin resistance or glycemia measures [Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) or glucose]; (3) few studies considering insulin resistance, glucose or HbA1c values in the clinically normal range as a predictor of SARS-CoV-2 risk; (4) few studies assessed the role of IGR as a risk factor for infection among initially uninfected samples; (5) a paucity of population-based data considering SARS-CoV-2 as a risk factor for the onset of IGR. While diabetes status is a clear predictor of poor prognosis following a SARS-CoV-2 infection, causal conclusions are limited. It is uncertain whether interventions targeting dysglycemia to improve SARS-CoV-2 outcomes have potential to be effective, or if risk assessment should include biomarkers of diabetes risk (ie, insulin and glucose or HbA1c) among diabetes-free individuals. Future studies with robust risk factor data collection, among population-based samples with pre-pandemic assessments will be important to inform these questions.
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