HumanInsight Anthropometric Measurements and Laboratory Investigations in Children and Youth With Type 1 Diabetes Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Can J Diabetes. 2022 Apr 14:S1499-2671(22)00087-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2022.04.003. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: Our aim in this study was to compare rates of anthropometric, blood pressure (BP) and glycated hemoglobin (A1C) measurements and laboratory screening for hypothyroidism, nephropathy and dyslipidemia in children and youth with type 1 diabetes (T1D), 1 year before and after the onset of COVID-19.
METHODS: Clinical data were analyzed from a voluntary registry of children and youth with T1D followed at the BC Children's Hospital between March 2019 and 2021. Logistic and Poisson mixed-effect models were used.
RESULTS: Four hundred forty patients, with median (interquartile range) age and time since diagnosis 12.7 (9.5 to 15.4) and 4.7 (2.6 to 7.9) years, respectively, were included. Clinic visits were all in-person before March 2020, and 99% via telemedicine afterward. The number of visits per patient was 2 (2 to 3), with a 6% increase during the pandemic (relative risk [RR], 1.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01 to 1.10). There was a substantial decrease in height, weight and BP measurements (RR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.28 to 0.36; RR, 0.34, 95% CI, 0.31 to 0.38; RR, 0.005, 95% CI, 0.002 to 0.014, respectively); only 49% of patients had anthropometric and 1% BP data during the pandemic year, compared with >97% before the pandemic. A1C measurements dropped from 3 (2 to 4) to 1 (1 to 2) per patient per year (RR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.48 to 0.57). Rates of screening investigations were suboptimal before the pandemic, and these rates continued to decline.
CONCLUSIONS: Shifting to telemedicine allowed ongoing care during the pandemic, but the frequency of anthropometric, BP and A1C measurements decreased dramatically. A combined telemedicine/in-person model may be needed to ensure adequate care for this population.
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