Background: Abrupt implementation of lockdowns during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic affected the management of diabetes mellitus in patients worldwide. Limited access to health facilities and lifestyle changes potentially affected metabolic parameters in patients at risk. We conducted a meta-analysis to determine any differences in the control of metabolic parameters in patients with diabetes, before and during lockdown.
Methods: We performed searches of five databases. Meta-analyses were carried out using random- or fixed-effect approaches to glycaemic control parameters as the primary outcome: glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), random blood glucose (RBG), fasting blood glucose (FBG), time-in-range (TIR), time-above-range (TAR), time-below-range (TBR). Mean difference (MD), confidence interval (CI), and P value were calculated. Lipid profile was a secondary outcome and is presented as a descriptive analysis.
Results: Twenty-one studies enrolling a total of 3,992 patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus (T1DM or T2DM) were included in the study. Patients with T1DM showed a significant improvement of TIR and TAR (MD=3.52% [95% CI, 0.29 to 6.74], I2=76%, P=0.03; MD=-3.36% [95% CI, -6.48 to -0.25], I2=75%, P=0.03), while FBG among patients with T2DM significantly worsened (MD=3.47 mg/dL [95% CI, 1.22 to 5.73], I2=0%, P<0.01). No significant difference was found in HbA1c, RBG, and TBR. Use of continuous glucose monitoring in T1DM facilitated good glycaemic control. Significant deterioration of lipid parameters during lockdown, particularly triglyceride, was observed.
Conclusion: Implementation of lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic did not worsen glycaemic control in patients with diabetes. Other metabolic parameters improved during lockdown, though lipid parameters, particularly triglyceride, worsened.
Keywords: COVID-19; Diabetes mellitus; Meta-analysis; Systematic review; Triglycerides.