The effect of the Covid-19 shutdown on glycemic testing and control

Anu Sharma, Dina N. Greene, Allison B. Chambliss, Christopher W. Farnsworth, Deborah French, Daniel S. Herman, Peter A. Kavsak, Anna E. Merrill, Sheng Ying (Margaret) Lo, Martha E. Lyon, Gabrielle Winston-McPherson, Lauren N. Pearson, Jeffrey A. SoRelle, Avantika C. Waring, Robert L. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused a halt to in-person ambulatory care. We evaluated how the reduction in access to care affected HbA1c testing and patient HbA1c levels. Methods: HbA1c data from 11 institutions were extracted to compare testing volume and the percentage of abnormal results between a pre-pandemic period (January-June 2019, period 1) and a portion of the COVID-19 pandemic period (Jan-June 2020, period 2). HbA1c results greater than 6.4% were categorized as abnormal. Results: HbA1C testing volumes decreased in March, April and May by 23, 61 and 40% relative to the corresponding months in 2019. The percentage of abnormal results increased in April, May and June (25, 23, 9%). On average, we found that the frequency of abnormal results increased by 0.31% for every 1% decrease in testing volume (p < 0.0005). Conclusion: HbA1c testing volume for outpatients decreased by up to 70% during the early months of the pandemic. The decrease in testing was associated with an increase in abnormal HbA1c results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-152
Number of pages5
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
Volume519
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Covid-19
  • Glycemic control
  • HbA1c

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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