Non-autoimmune diabetes mellitus and the risk of virus infections: a systematic review and meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies

Sci Rep. 2021 Apr 26;11(1):8968. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-88598-6.


A significant number of studies invoked diabetes as a risk factor for virus infections, but the issue remains controversial. We aimed to examine whether non-autoimmune diabetes mellitus enhances the risk of virus infections compared with the risk in healthy individuals without non-autoimmune diabetes mellitus. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we assessed case-control and cohort studies on the association between non-autoimmune diabetes and viruses. We searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Web of Science with no language restriction, to identify articles published until February 15, 2021. The main outcome assessment was the risk of virus infection in individuals with non-autoimmune diabetes. We used a random-effects model to pool individual studies and assessed heterogeneity (I2) using the χ2 test on Cochrane's Q statistic. This study is registered with PROSPERO, number CRD42019134142. Out of 3136 articles identified, we included 68 articles (90 studies, as the number of virus and or diabetes phenotype varied between included articles). The summary OR between non-autoimmune diabetes and virus infections risk were, 10.8(95% CI: 10.3-11.4; 1-study) for SARS-CoV-2; 3.6(95%CI: 2.7-4.9, I2 = 91.7%; 43-studies) for HCV; 2.7(95% CI: 1.3-5.4, I2 = 89.9%, 8-studies;) for HHV8; 2.1(95% CI: 1.7-2.5; 1-study) for H1N1 virus; 1.6(95% CI: 1.2-2.13, I2 = 98.3%, 27-studies) for HBV; 1.5(95% CI: 1.1-2.0; 1-study) for HSV1; 3.5(95% CI: 0.6-18.3 , I2 = 83.9%, 5-studies) for CMV; 2.9(95% CI: 1-8.7, 1-study) for TTV; 2.6(95% CI: 0.7-9.1, 1-study) for Parvovirus B19; 0.7(95% CI: 0.3-1.5 , 1-study) for coxsackie B virus; and 0.2(95% CI: 0-6.2; 1-study) for HGV. Our findings suggest that, non-autoimmune diabetes is associated with increased susceptibility to viruses especially SARS-CoV-2, HCV, HHV8, H1N1 virus, HBV and HSV1. Thus, these viruses deserve more attention from diabetes health-care providers, researchers, policy makers, and stakeholders for improved detection, overall proper management, and efficient control of viruses in people with non-autoimmune diabetes.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Virus Diseases / complications*