SARS-CoV-2 infection in hospitalized children with type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Academic Article


  • Context: While diabetes is a risk factor for severe illness from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in adults, there is conflicting data surrounding the relationship between the virus and diabetic disease process in children. Objective: This case series aims to illustrate an increase in the incidence of types 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus (T1DM, T2DM) between April – November 2020 at a large tertiary care children's hospital and examine the characteristics and adverse outcomes in these children. In addition, two children with significant complications from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and diabetes are highlighted. Methods: Hospitalized children with T1DM or T2DM and SARS-CoV-2 infection were identified, and electronic medical records were reviewed. Results: We observed a 16.3% increased rate of new-onset T1DM and 205.3% increased rate of new-onset insulin-dependent T2DM between April and November 2020 when compared to the same observational time frame in 2019. Among children with new-onset T1DM, 56.9% presented with DKA in 2019 and 47.1% in 2018 compared to 64.3% in 2020, which was higher than the national average. Twenty-eight children were diagnosed with COVID-19 and diabetes during this time. The 2 described cases with significant complications from COVID-19 and DKA required large doses of intravenous insulin over a prolonged duration. Conclusion: This study highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic might have led to an increased rate of new-onset T1DM, T2DM, and DKA in children and adolescents compared to a similar time frame in the prior 2 years. The clinical phenotypes and outcomes in children with diabetes to COVID-19 infection may be distinct and therefore, future pediatric specific studies are needed to define the role of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Trieu C; Sunil B; Ashraf AP; Cooper J; Yarbrough A; Pinninti S; Boppana S
  • Volume

  • 26