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Quality outcome of Diabetes Care during COVID-19 Pandemic: a Primary Care cohort study.

Di Gangi S, Lüthi B, Diaz Hernandez L, Zeller A, Zechmann S, Fischer R

Acta Diabetologica volume 59, pages 1189–1200 (2022)


Management of diabetes care can be affected by COVID-19 pandemic control measures. This study aimed to determine the impact of the pandemic, during 17.03.2020–16.03.2021, on quality outcomes of diabetes care in general practice in Switzerland.


In this retrospective cohort study, diabetes mellitus patients (≥ 18 years) with at least one consultation at a general practitioner, during 17.03.2018–16.03.2019 (cohort 1) and 17.03.2019–16.03.2020 (cohort 2) were included and followed-up for two years. Quality indicators and outcomes of diabetes care, at patient and practitioner level, were compared before and during the pandemic. Logistic regression was performed to identify patient’s risk factors for dropout from follow-up.


Data from 191 practices, 23,903 patients, cohort 1 and 25,092 patients, cohort 2, were analyzed. The fraction of patients lost to follow-up, attributable to the pandemic, was 28% (95% confidence interval: 25%, 30%). During the pandemic, compared to the previous year, regular measurement of weight, HbA1c, blood pressure and serum creatinine were less frequent and less patients per practitioner reached HbA1c and blood pressure target outcomes. Factors associated with continuity of care during the pandemic were: patient age 41–80 years, longer diabetes duration, diagnosis of hypertension or dyslipidemia, influenza vaccination during the last year. Risk factors for dropout were age > 80 and receiving only insulin as anti-diabetic medication.


A considerable quality reduction in diabetes mellitus care could be observed during the pandemic. Though the most vulnerable patients were not the most affected by the pandemic, key factors that might reduce dropout from follow-up were identified.

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