COVID Fears Kept One in Five People With Diabetes Away From the Doctor During Pandemic

A new study released in May by the American Diabetes Association® in partnership with dQ&A, finds that growing numbers of people with diabetes have not only been forced to put off needed medical care since the outbreak of COVID-19, but that alarming numbers are struggling to manage their blood glucose levels.

Key survey results found: 

  • Nearly 1 in 5 Americans with diabetes have skipped doctor’s appointments since the start of the pandemic, principally due to fear of contracting the virus;
  • 1 in 4 people with diabetes report having trouble controlling their blood glucose levels during the public health emergency; and
  • 1 in 10 adults with diabetes say they have developed new health complications like high blood pressure, heart problems, peripheral artery disease, and eye disorders since last March.

While an increase in diabetes complications puts the diabetes community at a heightened long-term risk, poor glycemic control also leaves people with diabetes especially vulnerable to adverse COVID-19 outcomes should they catch the coronavirus in the near term. 

Dr. Robert Gabbay, ADA Chief Scientific and Medical Officer, said:

“Over the past year, we’ve witnessed a grossly disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the health and safety of Americans living with diabetes. As a community, and as a nation, we must work to bring more resources–from expanded access to diabetes technology and telemedicine to expanded programs for healthy food and beverages–to the 34 million Americans who have diabetes. We must also acknowledge and address the systemic barriers that prevent many people with diabetes from staying safe and healthy, through the end of this pandemic and beyond.” 

The results of this survey were compiled from a national online poll of 5,645 people with diabetes between March 4th, 2021, and March 16th, 2021, with margins of error of +/- 2% percent.

This press release was provided by the Michigan State Medical Society.