Background: The Italian population’s habits changed dramatically during the “COVID- 19 lockdown” due to physical distancing and self-isolation. Moreover, medical consultations of patients with chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes (T2D), were suspended or postponed, unless urgent or semi-urgent, for several consecutive months. Thus, it is expected that the lockdown could have affected glucometabolic control in T2D. v
Purpose: The aim of the study was to assess changes in glucometabolic control in a cohort of T2D patients before (T1) and after (T2) the COVID-19 lockdown (March-May 2020).
Methods: The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the University of Bari, and all patients provided informed written consent to participate. Medical history, complete physical examination, and laboratory assessment were conducted as real-life clinical practice. Changes in clinical and laboratory variables between T1 and T2 were calculated.
Results: In detail, 13 patients were on metformin as monotherapy, 36 on GLP-1RA, 12 on sodiumglucose transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT-2i), and 2 on dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 inhibitors (DPP4i). The mean age was 65.3 years (43-83). Study participants were mainly men (73%). The body weight (BW) ranged from 56 to 145 kg, and the waist circumference ranged from 88 to 146 cm. The mean HbA1c was 51.0 mmol/mol. At T2, no statistically significant changes were observed frombaseline except for BW [-1.6 (-2.60 to -0.62)] and HbA1c [-2.90 (-4.69; -1.12)].
Conclusion: We evaluated the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on glucometabolic control in patients with background well-controlled T2D. We found that the lockdown had no adverse effects on metabolic profile regardless of background clinical characteristics and antihyperglycemic management. Despite limitations due to the nature of this study (sample size, retrospective observation, lack of data on lifestyle changes in our patients' everyday lives), T2D patients managed in our Diabetes Centers faced the lockdown-related restrictions without any detrimental consequence.
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