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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Non-Hispanic Blacks with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and confirmed COVID-19 are more likely than non-Hispanic Whites to present with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), according to a study published online Jan. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Osagie Ebekozien, M.D., M.P.H., from the T1D Exchange in Boston, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of 180 patients with T1D and laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 from 52 clinical sites in the United States. DKA events were compared for non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic race/ethnicity groups, with adjustment for confounding variables.

The researchers found that non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics had higher median hemoglobin A1c than Whites (11.7 and 9.7 percentage points, respectively, versus 8.3 percentage points). Compared with Whites, more non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics presented with DKA (13 percent versus 55 and 33 percent, respectively). Non-Hispanic Blacks continued to have increased odds of presenting with DKA compared with non-Hispanic Whites after adjustment for potential confounders (odds ratio, 3.7).

“Our findings of troubling and significant inequities call for urgent and targeted interventions, such as culturally appropriate diabetic ketoacidosis awareness campaigns, increased continuous glucose monitoring coverage for minority patients, and health care provider participation in a Quality Improvement Collaborative,” Ebekozien said in a statement.

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