The syndromic triad of COVID-19, type 2 diabetes, and malnutrition

Jeffrey I. Mechanick, Elena A. Christofides, Albert E. Marchetti, Kristin K. Hoddy, Jim Joachim, Refaat Hegazi, Osama Hamdy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic challenges our collective understanding of transmission, prevention, complications, and clinical management of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Risk factors for severe infection, morbidity, and mortality are associated with age, environment, socioeconomic status, comorbidities, and interventional timing. Clinical investigations report an intriguing association of COVID-19 with diabetes mellitus and malnutrition but incompletely describe the triphasic relationship, its mechanistic pathways, and potential therapeutic approaches to address each malady and their underlying metabolic disorders. This narrative review highlights common chronic disease states that interact epidemiologically and mechanistically with the COVID-19 to create a syndromic phenotype—the COVID-Related Cardiometabolic Syndrome—linking cardiometabolic-based chronic disease drivers with pre-, acute, and chronic/post-COVID-19 disease stages. Since the association of nutritional disorders with COVID-19 and cardiometabolic risk factors is well established, a syndromic triad of COVID-19, type 2 diabetes, and malnutrition is hypothesized that can direct, inform, and optimize care. In this review, each of the three edges of this network is uniquely summarized, nutritional therapies discussed, and a structure for early preventive care proposed. Concerted efforts to identify malnutrition in patients with COVID-19 and elevated metabolic risks are needed and can be followed by improved dietary management while simultaneously addressing dysglycemia-based chronic disease and malnutrition-based chronic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1122203
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
StatePublished - 2023


  • COVID-19
  • COVID-related cardiometabolic syndrome
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • cardiometabolic
  • cardiometabolic-based chronic disease
  • coronavirus
  • malnutrition
  • type 2 diabetes


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