TUESDAY, Jan. 16, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- For children, disruptions to care during the first 30 months of the pandemic were associated with delays in the diagnosis of diabetes, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.
Carina Iskander, from ICES in Toronto, and colleagues conducted a repeated cross-sectional study of children aged 0 to 17 years to estimate changes in rates of severe and potentially preventable health outcomes during the pandemic.
The researchers observed a decrease in all acute care use for children immediately at the onset of the pandemic, reaching the lowest rate for emergency department visits and hospital admissions in April 2020 (adjusted relative rates, 0.28 and 0.43, respectively). These reductions were sustained until September 2021 and May 2022, respectively. Overall, the rates of all-cause mortality, admissions for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions, newborn readmissions or emergency department visits, or hospital admissions among children with chronic health conditions did not exceed predicted rates during the pandemic. New presentations of diabetes mellitus increased significantly during most of 2021 (peak adjusted relative rate, 1.49 in July 2021) and much of 2022 after declining significantly between March and May 2020. Among these children, significantly more presentations for diabetic ketoacidosis were seen during the pandemic overall compared with expected (adjusted relative rate, 1.14).
"Despite disruptions in access to primary care and changes in care-seeking behavior, we documented relatively few changes in measures of severe preventable harm across selected outcomes and populations, except delays in diagnosing new cases of diabetes," the authors write.
One author disclosed ties to Dexcom Canada.