Preliminary results of our 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
  • More than 50 percent of cases had no adverse COVID-19 or diabetic
  • 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,”
Kevin Sayer, Executive Chairman, President and CEO of
“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.”

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

T1D providers interested
in contributing relevant cases can visit