[Sciencedaily] Serious complications of type 2 diabetes in children during the COVID-19 pandemic


According to the CDC, children are generally less severely affected by COVID-19 than adults. But a new study from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles shows that the pandemic could have a big impact on children.

The study showed an increase in the number of patients with diabetic ketoacidosis. These data, published in Diabetes Care, provide further insight into the impact of the pandemic on children.

Ketogenic acidosis (DKA) can be life-threatening. Insulin helps the body use glucose, when there is not enough insulin the body will use energy from the breakdown of fat. If blood insulin levels drop for a long time, ketoacidosis will occur.

This process causes acid levels to rise in the blood. If left untreated, it can lead to brain swelling, coma, and death. Children present to hospital with dehydration and ketoacidosis, but ketoacidosis is preventable and reversible with early and appropriate treatment.

Dr. Chao and colleagues found that in March 2020, more and more patients with ketoacidosis and type 2 diabetes were coming to the clinic. “We used to have a few cases of ketoacidosis every year and suddenly we saw a spike in ketoacidosis, so we started monitoring,” she said. We now have the numbers to confirm that many children with type 2 diabetes have diabetic ketoacidosis. “

So the question arises: What causes the increased rate of ketoacidosis in type 2 diabetes?

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, many children wear masks and learn online. But differential change affects them. Fewer children have regular health check-ups due to family fears of exposure to COVID-19. This is one of the reasons for the increased morbidity seen by Dr. Chao and colleagues.

  Re-examination patient - Doctor's diary

In addition to missing regular health checkups, the disease also affects many other factors such as less physical activity, lack of fresh food. There is also a link between viral exposure and diabetes.

“There is a link between COVID-19 and diabetes,” said Dr. Senta Georgia at the Saban Research Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. We do not know if the Sar-CoV-2 virus infects insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas. There are a few reports of a link between COVID-19 and diabetes in adults, but no studies in children have been published to date. “

As a scientist, a doctor, Dr. Chao and Georgina want to find the answer to help children be diagnosed with diabetes.

Dr. Geargina said: “Our work at the Hospital allows us to address health problems on many levels. So we’re addressing the growing prevalence of diabetes both clinically and scientifically.”

Future studies may determine whether ketoacidosis is increased in patients with Sar-CoV-2 infection. And now the data clearly show an increasing trend of serious complications of diabetes during the global pandemic.

The team hopes these findings will help raise awareness. “It is important for doctors to realize that a child needs to be evaluated as soon as he or she has symptoms of diabetes. Early detection reduces the risk of ketoacidosis.


  1. Lily C. Chao, Alaina P. Vidmar, Senta Georgia. Spike in Diabetic Ketoacidosis Rates in Pediatric Type 2 Diabetes During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Diabetes Care, 2021; dc202733 DOI: 2337/dc20-2733

Original link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210426140941.htm

The article is translated and edited by ykhoa.org – Please do not reup without permission!

Translator: Phuong Thao

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