During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lower rate of healthcare care usage has been reported, like for example admissions to Pediatric Emergency Departments. This can lead to the delayed diagnosis of potentially severe diseases, like type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM). Previous studies from Italy and Germany found an increase in severe diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) at the time of DM diagnosis in children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In our observational and retrospective study, we evaluated the frequency and severity of new-onset DM in children, at a tertiary hospital in Lisbon, during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2020 – March 2021) and compared them with a similar period, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak in Portugal (April 2019 – March 2020). The independent t-test, Mann-Whitney test and the chi-square test were used, where appropriate. Statistical significance was predetermined as p < 0.05. SPSS® 26 was used for statistical analysis. Ethical approval was not required by the Ethics Committee of Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte-Hospital de Santa Maria (Lisbon, Portugal) for the present study, since it was based on retrospective data collection.
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