Aim: Young adults (YA) with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are particularly vulnerable to direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 on their diabetes care, due to the intensive nature of managing their disease while simultaneously transitioning into adulthood during this ongoing global health crises. This study examined glucose management and diabetes-related hospitalizations in YA with T1D during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Method: Surveys were distributed electronically to YA between 17-30 years old and associated with the College Diabetes Network at two timepoints (spring and fall 2020). The survey included questions about hospitalization for diabetic ketoacidosis and/or severe hypoglycemia and challenges filling prescriptions. Chi-Square statistics were used for analyses.
Results: No demographic differences were found between the spring (n=473) and fall (n=375) participants. There was a significant increase in hospitalizations for severe hypoglycemia from 3.4% in the spring to 10.4% in the fall (p<.001). In the spring, 21% of participants reported difficulty filling prescriptions due to COVID-19, compared to 7.3% in the fall. Among those who reported difficulty filling prescriptions, insulin (Spring [n=58], Fall [n=43]) and CGM supplies (Spring [n=41], Fall [n=22]) were most commonly cited. Reported hospitalizations for DKA increased from 6.7% in the spring to 10.1% in the fall and trending towards statistical significance (p=.077).
Conclusions: YA with T1D reported increased incidence of severe hypoglycemia hospitalization during COVID-19, with many YA reporting difficulty filling and obtaining insulin and CGM supplies. Increased support may be necessary to protect health outcomes during this difficult time. Future work should utilize longitudinal methods to further assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on diabetes management.
J. Saylor: None. S. Lee: None. P. V. Commissariat: None. A. Sabino: None. D. St. pierre: None.