OBJECTIVETo analyze whether the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic increased the number of cases or impacted seasonality of new-onset type 1 diabetes (T1D) in large pediatric diabetes centers globally.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSWe analyzed data on 17,280 cases of T1D diagnosed during 2018-2021 from 92 worldwide centers participating in the SWEET registry using hierarchic linear regression models.RESULTSThe average number of new-onset T1D cases per center adjusted for the total number of patients treated at the center per year and stratified by age-groups increased from 11.2 (95% CI 10.1-12.2) in 2018 to 21.7 (20.6-22.8) in 2021 for the youngest age-group, <6 years; from 13.1 (12.2-14.0) in 2018 to 26.7 (25.7-27.7) in 2021 for children ages 6 to <12 years; and from 12.2 (11.5-12.9) to 24.7 (24.0-25.5) for adolescents ages 12-18 years (all P < 0.001). These increases remained within the expected increase with the 95% CI of the regression line. However, in Europe and North America following the lockdown early in 2020, the typical seasonality of more cases during winter season was delayed, with a peak during the summer and autumn months. While the seasonal pattern in Europe returned to prepandemic times in 2021, this was not the case in North America. Compared with 2018-2019 (HbA(1c) 7.7%), higher average HbA(1c) levels (2020, 8.1%; 2021, 8.6%; P < 0.001) were present within the first year of T1D during the pandemic.CONCLUSIONSThe slope of the rise in pediatric new-onset T1D in SWEET centers remained unchanged during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a change in the seasonality at onset became apparent.
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