The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents and young adults living with type 2 diabetes (T2D) involved in the national Improving Renal Complications in Adolescents with T2D through REsearch (iCARE) study.

The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) COVID-19 Questionnaire developed by the National Institutes of Health ECHO COVID-19 Task Force was administered to participants (n=85) from the iCARE study between June 2020 and October 2020. Children 12 years old (via parent report) and adolescents and young adults ≥13 years old (via self-report) participated. The questionnaire assessed the impact of the pandemic on health-care appointments, lifestyle, internet use, social connections and mental health.

Participants were 17.0±3.1 (range, 12 to 27) years of age and predominantly female (61.3%). During the pandemic, 69.4% were able to attend their health-care appointments by telephone or virtual platforms, 31.7% ate more, 45.1% slept more and 29.3% spent less time on physical activities. There was an increase in internet use for both educational (42.0%) and noneducational purposes (54.9%). Participants felt less socially connected (64.6%). Participants also felt sometimes (59.2%), often (19.7%) and very often (6.7%) satisfied with their lives.

Our study revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has had various impacts on the daily lives of adolescents and young adults living with T2D. Future research should include longitudinal studies of the health burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on this population, with a more in-depth evaluation of mental health outcomes and clinical outcomes.

Marylin Carino, Zoe Quill, Melissa Gabbs, Elizabeth Sellers, Jill Hamilton, Teresa Pinto, Mary Jetha, Josephine, Onalee Garcia Alecio, Allison Dart, Brandy Wicklow

Canadian Journal of Diabetes

Published 2022

Research Project: iCARE

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