A recent Cleveland Clinic study looked at whether those who contract COVID-19 are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and according to the findings, that does not appear to be the case.

“What we found was that we were identifying more cases of type 2 diabetes, but we don’t think it was related specifically to COVID-19. Rather, it was that COVID-19 resulted in them being seen by the healthcare system for us to pick up an undiagnosed condition,” said Dr. Kevin Pantalone with the Cleveland Clinic, one of the lead authors of the study.

Pantalone says previous reports claimed COVID-19 could potentially cause type 2 diabetes due to a sudden spike in blood sugar. However, their research found a different explanation for why some with COVID were being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

He says what’s likely happening is they already had the condition but just didn’t know it until they sought treatment for the virus. Data shows there are 37 million people in the United States with diabetes — largely type 2 — and about 9 million are undiagnosed.

“It’s very important for people to make sure they are following up with their healthcare providers for the routine screening tests that are recommended to pick up the disease,” Pantalone said.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes in adults between the ages of 35 and 70 who are overweight or obese.