Preliminary data from the US suggest that many people with Type 1 diabetes who contract Covid-19 can manage the illness at home, and overall mortality is relatively low, while hyperglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) are common effects.
The study, conducted by the T1D Exchange’s Quality Improvement Collaborative, includes data as of May 5 about 64 people from a total of 64 US cities, including 15 T1D Exchange member clinics and an additional 49 endocrinology clinics.
People with higher HbA1c levels were more likely to be hospitalised with worse outcomes, and those with a high body mass index was a significant risk factor. There were two deaths in the preliminary report; however, both people had comorbidities in addition to Type 1 diabetes.
Data were obtained for 33 patients with Type 1 diabetes who tested positive for Covid-19, and another 31 who showed symptoms consistent with the virus but hadn’t been tested. For all 64 patients, the mean age was 20.9 years, and two-thirds (65.6%) were aged 18 or younger. Overall, 60.9% were female. Nearly half were white, a quarter Hispanic, and 18.8% black.
Median HbA1c for the overall group 8%. Overall, six patients (9.8%) presented with new-onset Type 1 diabetes after they developed Covid-19. Hyperglycemia was present in half of the patients overall. DKA occurred in 19 people (30.2%). Overall, 34.9% of patients could manage Covid-19 at home, while 22.2% of patients overall were admitted to intensive care.
Including the small proportion of patients sent home after being seen in emergency or urgent care, overall roughly half were not admitted to hospital.
The findings were published in Diabetes Care.