Aspects of normal life outside of the pandemic could create difficulties for children with type 1 diabetes, including pressure on school food.
Researchers in the UK found improved blood sugar levels in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes during the first 12 weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown, according to a study published by The Endocrine Society.
Aspects of normal life outside of the pandemic could create difficulties for children with type 1 diabetes, the study authors said, including pressure on food at school. Without these challenges, investigators might be able to better manage their diabetes.
“The results show the difficulties faced by patients and families with type 1 diabetes under pressure at school, outside meals, social life and peer pressure,” said lead researcher Neil Lawrence, MBChB, in the press release. “Children and families found it easier to deal with this disease when they were forced to stay at home. This helps us understand the pressures placed on patients and families when trying to lead normal, busy lives with activities outside the home. We need to give them extra support in school and with socializing to prevent them from developing unfortunate complications later in life. “
Hospitals in the UK made many changes for people with diabetes and other chronic diseases during the pandemic. The researchers wanted to know if these changes are affecting the care of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. They found that some clinicians and families were concerned that remote consultations could result in poorer care.
To study this, the researchers analyzed how well 180 children and teenagers in 2 UK communities controlled their diabetes in the 12 weeks prior to the national COVID-19 lockdown and compared these results to the 12 weeks after the lockdown.
They found a significant improvement in blood sugar readings in the 12 weeks after the lockdown, according to the study. Average blood glucose decreased, long-term blood glucose readings decreased, and blood glucose readings showed less variability and a greater length of time in the range of blood glucose that the researchers were aiming for (3.9-10mmol / L).
“Dealing with type 1 diabetes in school, socializing, and extracurricular activities is challenging, and children with the disease need parents, teachers, and other caregivers to communicate and work as a team to deal with long-term health complications to avoid that are caused by poor blood sugar control, “Lawrence said in the press release. “This gives us important insights into the direction in which advice, training and support should be directed and encourages the future use of remote video and telephone consultation. These approaches can be beneficial for both families and doctors. “
Children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes had better glucose control during the COVID-19 lockdown [news release]. The endocrine society; March 20, 2021. https://www.endocrine.org/news-and-advocacy/news-room/featured-science-from-endo-2021/children-and-teens-with-type-1-diabetes-had -better-glucose-control-during-covid19-lockdown. Accessed March 26, 2021.