Sharma A, Greene DN, Chambliss AB, Farnsworth CW, French D, Herman DS, Kavsak PA, Merrill AE, Margaret Lo SY, Lyon ME, Winston-McPherson G, Pearson LN, SoRelle JA, Waring AC, and Schmidt RL. The effect of the Covid-19 shutdown on glycemic testing and control. Clin Chim Acta 2021; 519:148-152.
Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry
BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused a halt to in-person ambulatory care. We evaluated how the reduction in access to care affected HbA1c testing and patient HbA1c levels.
METHODS: HbA1c data from 11 institutions were extracted to compare testing volume and the percentage of abnormal results between a pre-pandemic period (January-June 2019, period 1) and a portion of the COVID-19 pandemic period (Jan-June 2020, period 2). HbA1c results greater than 6.4% were categorized as abnormal.
RESULTS: HbA1C testing volumes decreased in March, April and May by 23, 61 and 40% relative to the corresponding months in 2019. The percentage of abnormal results increased in April, May and June (25, 23, 9%). On average, we found that the frequency of abnormal results increased by 0.31% for every 1% decrease in testing volume (p < 0.0005).
CONCLUSION: HbA1c testing volume for outpatients decreased by up to 70% during the early months of the pandemic. The decrease in testing was associated with an increase in abnormal HbA1c results.
Medical Subject Headings
COVID-19; Humans; Outpatients; Pandemics; Retrospective Studies; SARS-CoV-2