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Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Children and Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

  • Xiaofan Jia 1
  • Patricia Gesualdo 1
  • Cristy Geno Rasmussen 1
  • Aimon A. Alkanani 1
  • Ling He 1
  • Fran Dong 1
  • Marian J. Rewers 1
  • Aaron W. Michels 1
  • Liping Yu 1
  • 1 - Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes - University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus - Aurora Colorado USA


Objective: As diabetes is a risk factor for severe symptoms, hospitalization, and death with COVID-19 disease, we aimed to assess the prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies in children and adults with and without type 1 diabetes in Colorado during 2020.

Research Design and Methods: We developed a highly sensitive and specific test for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and measured the antibodies in children and adults with new-onset (n = 129) and established type 1 diabetes (n = 94) seen for routine diabetes care at our center between January and October 2020. The antibodies were also measured in 562 children and 102 adults from the general population of Colorado.

Results: The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in persons with new-onset type 1 diabetes (0.8%; 95% confidence interval 0.1%–4.2%) or those with established disease (4.3%; 1.7%–10.4%) did not differ from that in the general population children (2.8%; 1.8%–4.6%) or adults (3.9%; 1.5%–9.7%). In a subset of individuals with positive antibodies (n = 31), antibodies remained positive for up to 9 months, although the levels decreased starting 3 months after the infection (P = 0.007).

Conclusions: From January to October 2020, the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were not different in children and adults with and without type 1 diabetes in Colorado. We found no evidence for increased prevalence of COVID-19 infections among youth with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes. (COMIRB Protocol 20-1007)


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