The Challenges of Managing Pediatric Diabetes and Other Endocrine Disorders During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results From an International Cross-Sectional Electronic Survey

Nancy Samir Elbarbary, Tiago Jeronimo dos Santos, Carine de Beaufort, Esko Wiltshire, Aman Pulungan, Andrea Enzo Scaramuzza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Frequency, dimensions, management, and outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic in children with endocrine disorders and diabetes were assessed. Methods: A cross-sectional electronic survey was distributed to the global network of endocrine societies. Respondents’ professional and practice profiles, clinic sizes, their country of practice, and the impact of COVID-19 on endocrine diseases were investigated. Results: Respondents from 131 pediatric endocrine centers in 51 countries across all continents completed the survey. Routine check-ups and education were altered in most pediatric endocrine clinics. Over 20% of clinics experienced a shortage of critical medications or essential supplies. ICU treatment was required for patients with diabetes and COVID-19 in 21.2% of centers. In diabetes, 44% of respondents reported increased diabetic ketoacidosis episodes in newly diagnosed cases and 30% in established cases. Biopsychosocial and behavioral changes were explicitly reported to be occurring among pediatric patients with endocrine disorders. Conclusions: This large global survey conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights that diabetes is more challenging to manage than any other pediatric endocrine disorder, with an increased risk of morbidity. Psychological distress due to COVID-19 needs to be recognized and addressed. The importance of close contact with healthcare professionals should be emphasized, and medical supplies should be readily available to all patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number735554
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • adrenal
  • children
  • COVID-19
  • diabetes
  • growth
  • obesity and metabolic syndrome
  • puberty
  • thyroid

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