A recent study of people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and COVID-19 looked at racial/ethnic inequalities in access to diabetes care, use of diabetes technology, and outcomes from COVID-19. Of 180 patients with T1D and COVID-19, compared with White patients, more Black and Hispanic patients were publicly insured (such as Medicare and Medicaid insurance) and had higher blood sugar levels as measured by HbA1c. Also, compared with Whites, Black and Hispanic patients were less likely to be using diabetes technology, such as an insulin pump or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), and were more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19. Additionally, there were more cases of newly diagnosed T1D in Black and Hispanic patients. Severe, uncontrolled diabetes (diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA) was more common in Black patients. In fact, Black patients had almost four times the risk of developing DKA compared to Whites; Hispanics had twice the risk. These findings show the high risk that racial/ethnic minorities face from COVID-19 and T1D. This should motivate doctors to remove these inequalities due to race and ethnicity for people living with T1D.
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