Survey: Stress during the COVID-19 pandemic makes living with diabetes even harder.

Increased stress and disrupted routines make blood sugars skyrocket.

With the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic across the world, millions of people have had to change the way they receive care for their chronic conditions.

Managing a chronic condition is important in maintaining healthy and positive outcomes. However, multiple factors caused by COVID-19 are negatively impacting management.

So, we surveyed more than 1,000 people with diabetes to better understand how the stress caused by COVID-19 is affecting them in relation to their health, wellness, and level of care.

Stress and Disruption Have Negative Consequences

For people with diabetes, COVID-19 is causing a large amount of stress with 74% of people surveyed saying that their stress levels have somewhat to extremely increased.

We all know that stress impacts our daily life from our sleeping patterns, to appetite, to motivation, to emotional and physical responses to events. This increase of stress levels is affecting daily routines of people with diabetes with 75% of respondents saying those routines are now disrupted.

Along with the disruption of daily routines, 46% of respondents say that their physical activity level has decreased since the beginning of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

Blood Sugars are Rising

With the combination of higher stress levels and decreased physical activity, the study shows a correlation of higher than normal blood sugar readings for those with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. When asked about their blood sugar reading since the beginning of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, 46% reported somewhat to much higher blood sugar readings compared to only 8% who reported lower than normal blood sugar readings.

Crises like the COVID-19 virus make managing diabetes even harder with increased strain on stress levels and disruption to daily routines, which people with chronic conditions rely on to stick to a schedule of exercise and medications. When those routines, or actions, are disrupted, it can be a challenge to adapt.

A Stable Routine is Key

It’s even more important in the wake of COVID-19 for people with diabetes to set new routines as increased blood sugars increases the risk of complications if diagnosed with COVID-19. While people with diabetes aren’t more likely to get COVID-19, the symptoms of the illness can be more serious. Those with well-managed diabetes and relatively stable blood glucose numbers have about the same risks as the general population.

Taking care of both physical and mental health during the COVID-19 virus outbreak is important. Keeping a stable routine when our world has been disrupted can be as simple as setting phone reminders to take a daily medication or to set aside blocks of time for in-home exercise. Downloading and sticking with a mental health app or connecting with loved ones can ease feelings of anxiety or depression. Using modern technology is another way our respondents are managing to keep on top of their health. 52% of respondents said they use a blood glucose meter that connects to a smartphone app and 65% say they are staying connected with their healthcare providers using telehealth or phone calls.

Any crisis can cause living with diabetes to be even harder. Using technology to help us reduce stress and keep a daily routine will become even more important in the upcoming weeks as the world works its way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Survey Methodology

This survey was fielded by Pops Diabetes Care to a nationally representative sample using the Pollfish survey platform. Pops Diabetes Care, founded in May 2013, strives to deliver the most user-friendly and technology-forward blood sugar monitoring experience in the personal diabetes management market. They have engineered and currently produce a simple, all-in-one meter that connects wirelessly to an app on a phone, which shows weekly and monthly trends at the touch of a button. Pops is intent on putting simple technology in people’s hands to enable them to Own Their Life®.

Survey Targeting and Collection Details

1,089 self-identified as people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes
U.S. smartphone users ages 18+
Respondents recruited via Pollfish market research platform
Responses gathered between: April 9, 2020 – April 11, 2020
The survey was created and administered by Brandata
The published study was designed by Hook Agency

Contact Us

If you would like to contact the Pops Diabetes Care team for more information on this survey, please email