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  • Team: Jamie Hartmann-Boyce
  • Theme: Prevention
  • Completed projects
Woman using a diabetes testing kit

Background context:

Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, CEBM researcher and co-director of the EBHC DPhil programme, has experienced these disruptions firsthand as she has type 1 diabetes. In April, she and colleagues, including Kamal Mahtani and David Nunan from CEBM, set out to review the evidence on diabetes and COVID-19 to date.

Key FINDINGS:

They wrote two articles for the CEBM COVID-19 Evidence Service, on COVID-19 risks (https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/diabetes-and-risks-from-covid-19/ ) and management considerations (https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/managing-diabetes-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/ ) for people with diabetes.

It was identified that people with diabetes appear to be at increased risk of having a more severe COVID-19 infection, though evidence quantifying the increased risk is highly uncertain due to a paucity of data, and whilst people with diabetes (PWD) have been advised to aim for tighter glucose control where appropriate and feasible,  the evidence behind this recommendation has not been identified. 

It was also found that interventions to improve self-management of or self-education for diabetes may be limited in terms of generalisability, but text-message interventions and self-monitoring of blood glucose are the most promising strategies.

Impact:

These articles have been used in Diabetes UK materials and in planning how healthcare is delivered moving forward.With international experts in diabetes care, Jamie and the team then led an article published in Diabetes Care (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32546593/) summarising what is known so far and pointing out directions for future research.

Jamie has also written about this topic for The Conversation (https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-and-diabetes-the-different-risks-for-people-with-type-1-and-type-2-139079), and continues to be engaged in conversations about how to support people with diabetes during and in the aftermath of the pandemic.