New York, March 21 | Parents, take note. Children with poorly controlled Type-1 diabetes are at 10 times higher risk of Covid-19-related complications and death compared to those with well-controlled diabetes, say researchers, including an Indian-origin.
The study, presented virtually at ENDO 2021, showed that in children with hemoglobin — A1c — levels higher than 9 per cent, the risk of Covid-19 complications was 10 times higher compared with children whose A1c levels were under 7 per cent, indicating well-controlled diabetes.
“This study shows keeping diabetic children’s blood sugar under control is more important than ever during the pandemic,” said lead author Manish Raisingani from the University of Arkansas in the US.
“The findings will help children with Type-1 diabetes and their families make better choices about the safety of attending school in person and engaging in other in-person activities during this pandemic,” Raisingani added.
For the study, the researchers reviewed data on about 2,000 children with Type-1 diabetes and Covid-19, as well as more than 300,000 children with Covid-19 who did not have Type-1 diabetes.
The study analysed hemoglobin A1c levels in children with diabetes. A1c is a simple blood test that measures a person’s average blood sugar levels over the past three months.
It is the main test to help people manage their diabetes. Higher A1c levels are linked to diabetes complications. The goal for most people with diabetes is an A1c level of 7 per cent or less.
Children with Type-1 diabetes and Covid-19 were more likely to die, to require an endotracheal tube to help them breathe, to develop pneumonia, or to develop septic shock, compared with children who had Covid-19 and did not have Type-1 diabetes, the team said.