The group was then compared to millions of veterans who did not have the infection.
Overall, people diagnosed with COVID-19 were 46 per cent more likely to develop type two diabetes.
Australian experts said it’s an important study but other factors may have contributed to the rise in diabetes diagnoses.
“People who’ve had COVID-19 may be more likely to consult their doctor and that might mean conditions like diabetes, which don’t always cause symptoms, might be picked up more frequently,” Professor Jonathon Shaw from Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute said.
The authors of the study said the virus itself could impair the production of insulin in the pancreas, or persistent low-grade inflammation could be to blame for the development of diabetes.
“We’re going to need to continue to monitor what happens to people after having COVID-19 and that’s going to occupy us for months and years to come so we get a full understanding of this condition,” Professor Shaw said.
Long COVID-19 studies are continuing both in Australia and overseas.