Press release

Important Discoveries in Diabetes Highlighted in American Diabetes Association 2021 Research Report

February 7, 2022 | Arlington, Virginia

Report looks at targeted research of link between COVID-19 and diabetes and identifies health disparities in order to help improve the lives of millions of Americans living with diabetes

The American Diabetes Association® (ADA) released its diabetes 2021 Research Report showcasing extraordinary discoveries in the U.S. With over 200 grants currently being managed, the organization’s goal is to use research to improve the lives of the 133 million Americans living with diabetes and prediabetes.

“While there is still much work to be done to investigate the link between COVID-19 and diabetes, the findings in this report have opened important new avenues to identify potential therapeutic strategies toward reducing the burden of COVID-19 in people with obesity and diabetes. We also highlight grants awarded to those who will identify and provide solutions to health disparities that plague the diabetes community,” said Dr. Robert Gabbay, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of the ADA. “In this report, we are reminded of the critical role research has in providing the greatest benefit to all people affected by diabetes.”

The report details findings that suggests the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic can infect insulin-producing beta cells and change their identity, as well as a study that found that individuals with metabolic syndrome were 3.4 times more likely to die from COVID and nearly five times more likely to be admitted to the ICU. Another groundbreaking study discovered why individuals with obesity may be at higher risk of severe illness and death. 

In the field of health disparities, the ADA awarded grants to highlight diabetes self-management education and support services that have historically produced poor results among African-Americans living with type 2 diabetes and the reasons behind this lack of efficacy. Another area of research will look at ways to increase diabetes technology, such as CGMs, within youth demographics by reducing barriers to that life-saving technology.

To learn more about the ADA’s research findings and ongoing areas of study, visit

# # #


About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 81 years the ADA has driven discovery and research to treat, manage, and prevent diabetes while working relentlessly for a cure. Through advocacy, program development, and education we aim to improve the quality of life for the over 133 million Americans living with diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Spanish Facebook (Asociación Americana de la Diabetes), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).