HealthDay News — Hospitalization rates for new-onset pediatric type 2 diabetes increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association, held virtually.

Daniel S Hsia, MD, from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and colleagues conducted a retrospective chart review of admissions for new-onset type 2 diabetes from March to December 2019 and the same period in 2020 in a tertiary care children’s hospital.

The researchers found that the hospitalization rate for new-onset diabetes increased from 0.27% in 2019 to 0.62% in 2020. The number of children with diabetic ketoacidosis (8 vs 3) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic syndrome (2 vs 0) also increased between 2020 and 2019. The mean admission hemoglobin A1c was 12.4% and 13.1% in 2019 and 2020, respectively, while mean admission glucose was 441 versus 669 mg/dL, respectively. The admission serum osmolality was 314 mmol/kg in 2019 and 335 mmol/kg in 2020.

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“While our study examined hospital admissions for type 2 diabetes in children at 1 center, the results may be a microcosm of what is happening at other children’s hospitals across the country,” Dr Hsia said in a statement. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 disrupted our lives in more ways than we realize. Our study reinforces the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for children even under such difficult circumstances.”

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