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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The early impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes: A national cohort study.

  • Author(s): Fisher, Lawrence
  • Polonsky, William
  • Asuni, Adijat
  • Jolly, Yasmin
  • Hessler, Danielle
  • et al.


To describe the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults with T1D or T2D in the U.S.


Participants, recruited from the Taking Control of Your Diabetes Research Registry, were ≥19 years old and diagnosed with either T1D or T2D for ≥12 months. Participants completed an online survey on a HIPAA-protected platform.


Completed surveys were received from 763 T1Ds and 619 T2Ds. Average T1D age was 53.3 (SD = 15.3); average T2D age was 64.9 (SD = 10.3). Both samples were predominantly female, non-Hispanic white and well-educated. Average self-reported HbA1c was 6.9 (SD = 1.0; 52 mmol/mol) for T1Ds and 7.1 (SD = 1.1; 54 mmol/mol) for T2Ds. About 40% of respondents reported that all of their diabetes healthcare appointments at the time were cancelled or postponed, 40% reported a switch to telehealth appointments and almost half reported lower overall satisfaction with these visits (compared to pre-pandemic). There were widespread increases in general and diabetes-related stress and social isolation, and negative effects on disease management. About 25% reported increases in highs, lows, and glucose variability in both groups.


There has been a substantive increase in level of diabetes-related and general life stress and social isolation due to the pandemic, with a significant impact on disease management.

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