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Impact of COVID-19 lockdown on flash and real-time glucose sensor users with type 1 diabetes in England

  • Prabhu Navis, Joshi1
  • Leelarathna, Lalantha1, 2
  • Mubita, Womba1
  • Urwin, Andrea1
  • Rutter, Martin K.1, 2
  • Schofield, Jonathan1
  • Thabit, Hood1, 2
  • 1 Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre,
  • 2 University of Manchester,
Published Article
Acta Diabetologica
Springer Milan
Publication Date
Oct 16, 2020
DOI: 10.1007/s00592-020-01614-5
PMID: 33067723
PMCID: PMC7567414
PubMed Central


Aims People with type 1 diabetes (T1D) face the daily task of implementing self-management strategies to achieve their glycaemic goals. The UK COVID-19 lockdown has had an impact on day-to-day behaviour, which may affect diabetes self-management and outcomes. We assessed whether sensor-based outcomes pre- and during lockdown periods were different in a cohort of glucose sensor users with T1D. Methods Data were collected from Freestyle Libre (FSL) or Dexcom G6 sensor users who remotely shared their data with the diabetes clinic web platform. Sensor metrics according to international consensus were analysed and compared between pre-lockdown period and 2 and 3 weeks into lockdown (periods 1 and 2). Results Two hundred and sixty-nine T1D patients (baseline HbA1c 57 ± 14 mmol/mol) were identified as FSL ( n = 190) or Dexcom G6 ( n = 79) users. In patients with sensor use > 70% ( N = 223), compared to pre-lockdown period percentage TIR 3.9–10 mM (TIR) significantly increased during period 1 (59.6 ± 18.2 vs. 57.5 ± 17.2%, p = 0.002) and period 2 (59.3 ± 18.3 vs. 57.5 ± 17.2%, p = 0.035). The proportion of patients achieving TIR ≥ 70% increased from 23.3% pre-lockdown to 27.8% in period 1 and 30.5% in period 2. A higher proportion also achieved the recommended time below and above range, and coefficient of variation in periods 1 and 2. Dexcom G6 users had significantly lower % time below range (< 3.9 mM) compared to FSL users during both lockdown periods (period 1: Dexcom G6 vs. FSL: 1.8% vs. 4%; period 2: 1.4% vs. 4%, p < 0.005 for both periods). Conclusion Sensor-based glycaemic outcomes in people with T1D in the current cohort improved during COVID-19 lockdown, which may be associated with positive changes in self-management strategies. Further work is required to evaluate long-term sustainability and support.

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