Older people with type 1 diabetes more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than younger people

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September 28, 2021

2 minutes to read

Disclosures: Demeterco-Berggren does not report any relevant financial information. Please see the study for relevant financial information from all other authors.


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Adults with type 1 diabetes are significantly more likely to be hospitalized if they contract COVID-19 compared to children, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

In an analysis of people with type 1 diabetes with confirmed COVID-19, adults aged 40 or older were about 4.2 times more likely to be hospitalized than youth aged 18 and under.

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“Age over 40 is a risk factor for patients with type 1 diabetes and COVID-19, children and young adults with milder disease and better prognosis” Carla Demeterco-Berggren, MD, PhD, director of quality at the Diabetes Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego and associate clinical professor of pediatrics in the division of pediatric endocrinology at the University of California at San Diego, told Healio. “Public health recommendations, including the wearing of masks and vaccination, must be followed by all to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. “

Carla Demeterco-Berggren

Demeterco-Berggren and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of people with type 1 diabetes and confirmed COVID-19 from April 2020 to March 2021 at 56 endocrinology sites in the United States. Data were obtained from 44 pediatric sites and 12 adult sites. Hospitalization for COVID-19 included admission to intensive care or inpatient care. Outpatients were those seen in outpatient clinics or emergency rooms or receiving care at home. The study was sponsored and coordinated by the T1D Exchange Quality Improvement Collaborative.

Seniors are more likely to be hospitalized

The study cohort of 767 people with type 1 diabetes and COVID-19 (mean age, 22.4 years; 52% female) was divided into three age groups: 18 and under (n = 415), 19 to 40 (n = 247) and over 40 (n = 105). The older group had a higher proportion of patients hospitalized for COVID (47%) compared to those aged 18 and under (20%) and adults aged 19 to 40 (16%; P <.001 among adults over years of age had an unfavorable outcome such as death diabetic ketoacidosis or severe hypoglycemia compared to children and those aged>P <.001>

After adjusting for gender, HbA1c, race and ethnicity, insurance type, and co-morbidities, adults over 40 were significantly more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than elderly patients aged 18 and under (adjusted OR = 4.2; 95% CI, 2.28-7.83). There was no significant difference for adverse outcomes between age groups.

“Our data matches previous evidence suggesting that hospitalizations are infrequent in children and young adults, increasing after the age of 40,” said Demeterco-Berggren. “It has already been reported that people with type 1 diabetes and COVID-19 have a higher probability of hospitalization than patients without diabetes, with age being the most important factor. “

Hospitalization more likely for minorities

The likelihood of hospitalization was higher for all participants with higher HbA1c (OR = 1.46; 95% CI: 1.35-1.58; P <.001 black and non-hispanic hispanic patients those of other ethnicities were more likely to be hospitalized than white ci:> P <.001 the presence of comorbidities was associated with an increased risk hospitalization ci:>P <.001 the chances of developing side effects were also increased for people with higher hba1c ci:>P P P <.05>

Demeterco-Berggren said more studies involving multi-center collaborations are crucial to understanding how age and modifiable risk factors affect COVID-19 prognosis in order to prevent and reduce adverse outcomes for people with diabetes. type 1.

For more information:

Carla Demeterco-Berggren, MD, PhD, can be contacted at [email protected]


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