Original Research

Differences in COVID-19 Outcomes Among Patients With Type 1 Diabetes: First vs Later Surges



From Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone Health, New York, NY (Dr Gallagher), T1D Exchange, Boston, MA (Saketh Rompicherla; Drs Ebekozien, Noor, Odugbesan, and Mungmode; Nicole Rioles, Emma Ospelt), University of Mississippi School of Population Health, Jackson, MS (Dr. Ebekozien), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY (Drs. Wilkes, O’Malley, and Rapaport), Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY (Drs. Antal and Feuer), NYU Long Island School of Medicine, Mineola, NY (Dr. Gabriel), NYU Langone Health, New York, NY (Dr. Golden), Barbara Davis Center, Aurora, CO (Dr. Alonso), Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX (Dr. Lyons), Stanford University, Stanford, CA (Dr. Prahalad), Children Mercy Kansas City, MO (Dr. Clements), Indiana University School of Medicine, IN (Dr. Neyman), Rady Children’s Hospital, University of California, San Diego, CA (Dr. Demeterco-Berggren).

Background: Patient outcomes of COVID-19 have improved throughout the pandemic. However, because it is not known whether outcomes of COVID-19 in the type 1 diabetes (T1D) population improved over time, we investigated differences in COVID-19 outcomes for patients with T1D in the United States.

Methods: We analyzed data collected via a registry of patients with T1D and COVID-19 from 56 sites between April 2020 and January 2021. We grouped cases into first surge (April 9, 2020, to July 31, 2020, n = 188) and late surge (August 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021, n = 410), and then compared outcomes between both groups using descriptive statistics and logistic regression models.

Results: Adverse outcomes were more frequent during the first surge, including diabetic ketoacidosis (32% vs 15%, P < .001), severe hypoglycemia (4% vs 1%, P = .04), and hospitalization (52% vs 22%, P < .001). Patients in the first surge were older (28 [SD,18.8] years vs 18.0 [SD, 11.1] years, P < .001), had higher median hemoglobin A1c levels (9.3 [interquartile range {IQR}, 4.0] vs 8.4 (IQR, 2.8), P < .001), and were more likely to use public insurance (107 [57%] vs 154 [38%], P < .001). The odds of hospitalization for adults in the first surge were 5 times higher compared to the late surge (odds ratio, 5.01; 95% CI, 2.11-12.63).

Conclusion: Patients with T1D who presented with COVID-19 during the first surge had a higher proportion of adverse outcomes than those who presented in a later surge.

Keywords: TD1, diabetic ketoacidosis, hypoglycemia.

After the World Health Organization declared the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, a pandemic on March 11, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified patients with diabetes as high risk for severe illness.1-7 The case-fatality rate for COVID-19 has significantly improved over the past 2 years. Public health measures, less severe COVID-19 variants, increased access to testing, and new treatments for COVID-19 have contributed to improved outcomes.

The T1D Exchange has previously published findings on COVID-19 outcomes for patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) using data from the T1D COVID-19 Surveillance Registry.8-12 Given improved outcomes in COVID-19 in the general population, we sought to determine if outcomes for cases of COVID-19 reported to this registry changed over time.


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