Background: There has been a well-documented link showing that pre-existing diabetes worsens outcomes in Covid-19 infection in adults. However, researchers have postulated that this relationship is reciprocal, where infection with Covid-19 may trigger new onset diabetes. Data on pediatric new onset type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and Covid-19 remains scarce. Furthermore, the results are conflicting; some studies showed increased rate of new onset T1DM in children with Covid-19 and the others did not find any difference in 2020 compared to previous years. The aim of this study is to elucidate the relationship between pediatric new onset T1DM and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with Covid-19 infection in a single center.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of 50 pediatric diabetes cases admitted to the Bronson Children’s Hospital between March 2020 and December 2020.
Results: From the total of 50 patients, 42 had new onset T1DM. Of these 42, 33 (78.6%) presented with DKA, and 17 (40.5%) met hospital criteria for Covid-19 testing, with 16 of those producing a negative result. There was only 1 (5.9% of tested, 2.4% of T1DM cases) patient with new onset T1DM associated with a positive Covid-19 test.
Conclusion: The low number of positive cases identified in this study suggests that there may be no link between Covid-19 viral illness and new onset T1DM in the pediatric population. Major limitations include the single center localization of the study and inability to test all cases for Covid-19 at this facility. Due to the scarcity of test kits and lab personnel especially early during the pandemic, only patients that met symptomatic criteria were tested. It is possible and likely that some of the patients were infected with Covid-19 but remained asymptomatic.
D. Rowland: None. N. D. O. Lee: None. B. Ergun-longmire: None.