2022 Volume 61 Issue 1 Pages 37-48
Objective In this study, we investigated whether and how the COVID-19 pandemic affected glycemic control and blood pressure (BP) control in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM).
Methods DM patients whose HbA1c level was measured regularly before and after the declaration of a state of emergency were included in this study. Some patients were given questionnaires about changes in their lifestyle to determine the factors affecting glycemic control and BP control.
Results The median HbA1c level of the 804 patients increased significantly from 6.8% before the state of emergency to 7.1% and 7.0% during and after the state of emergency, respectively. This was in contrast to the decrease one year earlier due to seasonal variations. In the 176 patients who responded to the questionnaire, the HbA1c level also increased significantly during and after the state of emergency. The worsening of glycemic control was more pronounced in the group that had achieved HbA1c of <7% before the state of emergency than in those with higher values. Unlike the rise in HbA1c, the BP did not rise during the state of emergency but did rise significantly afterwards. There was no marked decrease in HbA1c or BP after the state of emergency, even in patients who responded that they were much more careful with their diet, ate less, or exercised more.
Conclusions The COVID-19 pandemic worsened glycemic control and BP control, even in patients who perceived no marked change in their diet or exercise, suggesting that more active lifestyle guidance is necessary for good treatment of DM patients.