The patient-centered diabetes management during the COVID-19 pandemic

Glob Health Med. 2022 Aug 31;4(4):210-215. doi: 10.35772/ghm.2022.01031.

Abstract

Since December 2019, in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we observed that glycemic control in people with diabetes is easily affected by lifestyle changes. To maintain a good health condition, a patient-centered approach with mental support and close monitoring is required. For these, telemedicine and online continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), are effective systems. Therefore, based on our experience during the two-year period, we reviewed the literature for appropriate actions required for the management of diabetes to prevent COVID-19 infection and avoid unfavorable outcomes in COVID-19 cases. Once infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), there is a high risk of a poor prognosis in patients with diabetes. Glucocorticoid therapy in severe COVID-19 cases leads to further hyperglycemia. Since good glycemic control has been shown to improve outcomes, strict glycemic control using CGM is recommended. Using CGM data, insulin can be adequately titrated without causing hypoglycemia, and remote data monitoring can reduce the risk of infection for health care professionals, by reducing the frequency of patient contact. Among patients with COVID-19, some are found to have newly-diagnosed diabetes at admission. Those newly diagnosed patients present with a higher risk of poor prognosis compared to those with pre-existing diabetes. Therefore, glycemic status should be evaluated in all patients with COVID-19 admitted to hospitals.

Keywords: continuous glucose monitoring (CGM); glycemic control; insulin; lifestyle change; prognosis.

Publication types

  • Review