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Project #65:
Describing trends and variation in HbA1c levels during COVID-19 in 24 million patients' primary care records using OpenSAFELY

  • Type: Research
  • Topic areas: Other/indirect impacts of COVID on health/healthcare

The HbA1c test, used to measure blood glucose level, is a key primary care service that has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting an accurate read of blood glucose level is necessary to make new diabetes diagnoses and detect increased risks of complications for existing diabetics. Furthermore, diabetes has been linked to greater COVID-19 severity and mortality, making regular monitoring and management of blood glucose levels more crucial.

This study aims to describe the impact of service disruption on HbA1c test results across 23.8 million patients’ records in England. It presents cohort-based observational analyses to examine metrics such as the number of HbA1c tests recorded, percentage of abnormal results, and mean of test values between January 2019 and June 2021, focusing on breakdowns by healthcare inequalities, which include age group, sex, ethnicity, region, IMD, diabetes, learning disability, and mental health conditions.


  • Study leads: Robin Park
  • Organisation: University of Oxford and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine