Preliminary Findings of Surveillance COVID-19 in Individuals T1D

Posted on: June 9, 2020

Preliminary Findings of T1D Exchange’s Population Health Surveillance Study of

COVID-19 in Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes Published in Diabetes Care 

First U.S. based, multi-center study to examine patient characteristics and adverse outcomes to drive advances in quality improvement and care best practices 

BOSTON, MA – June 9, 2020 – T1D Exchange announced that preliminary results of its population health surveillance study, “Type 1 Diabetes and COVID-19: Preliminary Findings from a Multi-Center Surveillance Study in the United States,” were recently published in Diabetes Care, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Diabetes Association. The study focuses on individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) who are suspected or confirmed to have contracted Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This is the first U.S. based, multi-center study to examine patient characteristics and adverse outcomes among individuals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

“While diabetes has been identified as a risk factor for severe illness with COVID-19, there is very little information about type 1 diabetes specifically,” said Dr. Mary Pat Gallagher, Director of the Pediatric Diabetes Center at NYU Langone Health’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital. “We know that with T1D, infections of all types can lead to high blood sugar levels and potentially to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which can be deadly. This study – the first to report what happens when individuals with T1D are diagnosed with COVID-19 – is a critical step that will set the stage for the future of care.”

Preliminary Results

The T1D Exchange Quality Improvement Collaborative (QIC) is conducting the study in collaboration with its 15 clinic members and an additional 49 endocrinology clinics, for a total of 64 U.S. sites. Initial results from 33 COVID-19 confirmed positive cases and 31 COVID-19-presumptive cases found the most prevalent presenting symptom reported was high blood sugar, followed by fever, cough, nausea and fatigue. In addition, results showed:

  • More than 50 percent of cases reported hyperglycemia
  • Nearly one-third of cases experienced DKA and required hospitalization
  • More than 50 percent of cases had no adverse COVID-19 or diabetic outcomes
  • There were two reported deaths among adult patients with other underlying co-morbidities

“During these unprecedented times, there are a plethora of unanswered questions on the impact of COVID-19 on the T1D community and we realized that a population health surveillance study is imperative to better understand potential outcomes and inform intelligent quality improvement initiatives,” said Dr. Osagie Ebekozien, Vice President, Population Health and Quality Improvement, at T1D Exchange. “We are buoyed by the initial interest and participation of clinicians and patients in this study and expect to announce additional risk factors, insights and outcomes in pediatric and adult patients in the coming months as more data is collected and analyzed.”

The multi-clinic, first of its kind population health surveillance, with currently more than 200 confirmed and presumptive cases was made possible by the generous support of the industry and research community. The five Presenting Sponsors: Abbott Diabetes, Dexcom, JDRF, Lilly and Medtronic, and the two Contributing Sponsors: Insulet Corporation and Tandem Diabetes Care, supported this critical initiative.

“Dexcom is proud to be a Presenting Sponsor of the T1D Exchange Surveillance of COVID-19 in patients with diabetes. These are unprecedented times, and we have so much to learn about this virus, and particularly its impact on people with type 1 diabetes,” said Kevin Sayer, Executive Chairman, President and CEO of Dexcom. “We believe this surveillance study may help patients and clinicians make evidence-based decisions about managing care that could ultimately save lives.”

“JDRF is committed to improving the lives of everyone affected by type 1 diabetes,” said JDRF Vice President of Research, Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D. “That means a need to fully understand the implications of COVID-19 on the T1D community. JDRF is proud to support T1D Exchange and their research into COVID-19. We are hopeful this study will arm clinicians with the information they need to make informed decisions into how to best treat COVID-19 in their patients with T1D to achieve better outcomes.”

“The research that T1D Exchange is leading around COVID-19 will yield vital information about the prevalence, presentation and outcomes of COVID-19 on those living with type 1 diabetes,” said Robert Vigersky, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Diabetes Group at Medtronic. “We are proud to support this important research and look forward to rapidly learning from real-world experiences.”

Questions about the study or how to join the T1D Exchange Quality Improvement Collaborative can be directed to QI@T1DExchange.org.

T1D providers interested in contributing relevant cases can visit  www.t1dexchange.org/COVID19.

About Type 1 Diabetes

T1D is an autoimmune condition in which an individual’s body is unable to produce insulin. The disease affects approximately 1.6 million people in the U.S., with an estimated 40,000 new people diagnosed each year. Neither preventable nor curable, living with T1D requires self-administration of insulin through multiple daily injections or pump therapies, constant monitoring of blood sugar levels and unparalleled attention to care to avoid the acute dangers caused by hypoglycemia, in which blood sugar drops too low, or the long-term implications of hyperglycemia, in which blood sugar rises too high.

About the Quality Improvement Collaborative

The Quality Improvement Collaborative (QIC) brings together 15 clinics, situated across the US and treating more than 28,000 individuals with type 1 diabetes. The QIC has achieved unprecedented success because it relies on an embedded and systemic approach: individual providers are empowered to identify areas of unmet need within their clinic. They make small changes in care that scale up through the QIC to create best practices, which are then shared among and implemented by members at other clinics.

About T1D Exchange

T1D Exchange is a leading provider of real-world evidence, dedicated to improving outcomes for the entire T1D population through driving collaborative change. T1D Exchange actively supports quality improvement and innovation through its Quality Improvement Collaborative, patient registry, and data-oriented research services. It plays an active role in creating real-world impact with this integrated data by providing clinicians, researchers, industry partners and advocates with the resources and services they need for better decision support and population health management.

T1D Exchange was established ten years ago with ongoing support from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.


For Media:
Lauren Arnold
Vice President