Around 27 million people live with diagnosed diabetes in the United States1. To understand the real-time impact of COVID-19 on the diabetes community, dQ&A has conducted semi-weekly surveys of people with diabetes over the course of the pandemic. The third wave of the study fielded last week. Participants reported significant effects on their working lives and income, a high level of concern about the risk of infection, challenges accessing healthy foods and other non-prescription items for their diabetes care, and changes to doctor visits.
Nearly everyone is concerned about the risk of infection, and those concerns have risen slightly in recent weeks. 94% of respondents are somewhat or very concerned about a family member or friend getting COVID-19, and 88% are concerned for themselves.
Despite their increased vulnerability, two in five people with diabetes are still working outside the home full or part-time. The financial impact is also significant; almost one third of respondents reported a loss of income due to COVID-19.
Fortunately, the availability of diabetes supplies appears to have remained stable throughout the pandemic. Those needing insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) supplies seem more likely to run into difficulty than those needing insulin, GLP-1s, SGLT-2s, or glucose test strips. Other non-prescription items important to diabetes management have become troublesome to acquire. Respondents have had difficulty getting alcohol swabs, which are used when injecting insulin and testing blood glucose levels. Getting fresh produce has also been a challenge.
COVID-19 has affected routine doctor visits as well. About one in seven respondents have had a telemedicine appointment with an endocrinologist via video or phone since COVID-19 started. Over half were very satisfied with their experience.
This research was conducted through an online survey with members of the dQ&A US Patient Community between April 28th and April 30th 2020 (n=4,493). Thank you to everyone who participated!
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About dQ&A – The Diabetes Research Company
dQ&A is a social enterprise founded in 2009 and committed to making life better for people with diabetes. We harness patient voices to help improve health outcomes for people with diabetes. We are trusted by patients because of our independence and commitment to diabetes. We started tracking the experiences and opinions of people with diabetes in the United States in 2009, and have been surveying them quarterly since then.