Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Beth Lacy

Committee Member

Kathleen Winter

Committee Member

Anna Kucharska-Newton


During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic it was seen that diabetes was a risk factor for severe COVID-19. The objective of this study is to assess the severity of diabetes at diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to pre-pandemic to see how the pandemic and SARS-CoV-2 infection impacted the severity of diabetes. This study used University of Kentucky electronic health records of 13,794 patients who developed diabetes. The majority of patients were female, white non-Hispanic, 65+, and living in an urban area. There were differences seen between the COVID-19 positive and negative cohorts in the DKA and HbA1c variables, with the differences in the HbA1c variable being significant. In our data there was a slight increase in DKA frequency at diagnosis of diabetes for the COVID-19 negative cohort, and a slight decrease in the COVID-19 positive cohort. Both pandemic cohorts had lower HbA1c values than the pre-pandemic cohort. These findings were not explicitly contradictory to what other studies have found; however, other studies have found a significant increase in diabetes incidence and diabetes severity following the COVID-19 pandemic. This topic should be investigated further because of the worldwide impact of diabetes.