Influence of Telemedicine on the Number of Visits and HbA1c Determinations in Latin American Children with Type 1 Diabetes

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2021

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Mary Ann Liebert, Inc

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Escuela de Medicina

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Objective: To measure the changes in the number of medical visits and the number of HbA1c determinations according to telemedicine access in children with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) during the pandemic 2020 compared with 2019 and 2018. Methods: This is a multinational study of children with T1DM from four Latin American countries. The number of medical visits, the number of HbA1c determinations, and access to telemedicine during 2020 were extracted from their records. Results: 227 children (59% females) aged 12.7± 3.2 years with a duration of 5.4 ± 2.7 years of T1DM in 2018 were evaluated. There was a higher prevalence of children with telemedicine access in the pandemic 2020 vs. those without (145(63.9%) vs. 82 (36.1%); p<0.01) There was a higher number of medical visits during 2020 in children with telemedicine access vs. those without (6.9 vs. 2.6; p<0.01). Children with telemedicine access had a higher number of visits in 2020 vs. 2018 (6.87 vs. 5.04, p<0.01), but similar to 2019. Children without access had a lower number of visits in 2020 vs. 2019 (2.6 vs. 5.5; p<0.01) and vs. 2018 (2.6 vs. 5.1; p<0.01). In 2020, the number of HbA1c determinations in children with telemedicine access was higher vs. those without (1.8 vs. 0.9; p<0.01). Children with telemedicine access had a lower number of Hb A1c determinations in 2020 vs. 2019 (1.8 vs. 2.4; p<0.01), but similar to 2018. Furthermore, children without access had a lower number of Hb A1c determinations in 2020 vs. 2019 (0.9 vs. 1.9; p<0.01) and vs. 2018 (0.9 vs. 2.0; p<0.01). Conclusions: We found that children with T1DM with telemedicine access had a significantly higher number of medical visits and HbA1c determinations during lockdown than those without access in different Latin American centers.

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