The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on people with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and Type 2 diabetes (T2D) were very different, according to a research.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of 33 studies looking at how diabetes control changed with the onset of lockdowns in over 4,700 patients from 10 countries suggest that glycaemic (blood sugar) control substantially improved in individuals with T1D. In contrast, lockdown contributed to a short-term worsening in blood sugar control and weight gain in many with T2D.
“Our analysis has revealed that lockdown improved the way people with Type 1 diabetes managed their condition,” said lead author Claudia Eberle from the University of Applied Sciences in Fulda, Germany.
“However, people with Type 2 diabetes paid a heavy price, with many experiencing deteriorating glycaemic control and weight gain — which are associated with many of the common types of cancer, blindness, amputations as well as heart attacks and strokes,” Eberle added.
In this study, published in the journal Diabetology and Metabolic Syndrome, researchers searched for all studies published in English or German which reported the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns on glycaemic control in patients with either T1D or T2D.
In total, 33 peer-reviewed studies up to March 2021 were included in the analyses.
The researchers found that in 25 studies including 2,881 individuals with T1D, 18 studies (72 per cent) showed clear improvements in glycaemic control, 4 (16 per cent) showed no changes, while 3 studies (12 per cent) reported a deterioration — possibly due to an interruption in health care services, as seen in India where insulin was in short supply.
In contrast, the analysis found that in 8 studies including 1,823 individuals with T2D, half the publications noted short-term worsening in blood sugar control during lockdown, while a quarter (2 studies) showed some improvement.
Overall, HbA1C levels increased by an average of 0.14 per cent through the lockdowns. Moreover, 3 studies reported increases in body mass index (BMI) of between 0.3 kg and 0.95 kg, while one reported a substantial improvement in BMI.