Type 1 Diabetes and COVID-19: A Literature Review and Possible Management

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Context: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection normally damages the respiratory system but might likewise impair endocrine organs’ function. Thyroid dysfunction and hyperglycemia are common endocrine complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The onset of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and associated complications, including diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), hospitalization, and death, are thought to have increased during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The aim of this study was to review the available data about the incidence rate of T1D and accompanying complications since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence Acquisition: A literature review was conducted using the electronic databases PubMed and Google Scholar. The keywords “T1D, T1DM, Type 1 DM or Type 1 Diabetes”, “Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19” were used to search these databases. Titles and abstracts were screened for selection, and then relevant studies were reviewed in full text. Results: A total of 25 manuscripts out of 304 identified studies were selected. There were 15 (60%) multicenter or nationwide studies. The data about the incidence rate of T1D, hospitalization, and death are not consistent across countries; however, DKA incidence and severity seem to be higher during the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study’s data collection demonstrated that COVID-19 might or might not increase the incidence of T1D. Nevertheless, it is associated with the higher incidence and severity of DKA in T1D patients. This finding might indicate that antivirals are not fully protective against the endocrine complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which promotes the application of an alternative approach. Conclusions: Combining medications that reduce SARS-CoV-2 entry into the cells and modulate the immune response to infection is an alternative practical approach to treating COVID-19.