Vol 9, No 5 (2020)
Research paper
Published online: 2020-09-23

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Clinical characteristics and precipitating factor(s) associated with diabetic ketoacidosis presentation in children with newly diagnosed diabetes

Noha Arafa1, Mona Mamdouh Hassan1, Shimaa Atef1, Asmaa Salah Eldin Fathallah1, Amany Ibrahim1
Clin Diabetol 2020;9(5):286-292.


Background. To compare the demographic and clinical characteristics of children with newly clinically diagnosed type 1 diabetes (T1DM) who presented with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) versus non DKA presentation and to identify the precipitating factor(s) related to progression to DKA. Methods. Over a 3 month period, 99 patients newly diagnosed with T1DM were recruited from Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolism Pediatric Unit (DEMPU), Cairo University, with 53 patients presented with DKA and 46 were non DKA. Results. Polyuria, polydipsia, weight loss, polyphagia and nocturia were the most common symptoms preceding the diagnosis among the whole study group (93.8%, 92% and 80.8%, 76.8%, 46.5 % respectively) with no difference between DKA and non DKA groups. Delayed diagnosis occurred in 98.1% and 58.7% of DKA and non DKA groups respectively. In the DKA group the diagnosis of diabetes was missed in 69.8% and in 28.3% the initiation of insulin therapy was delayed despite diagnosis. Multivariate analysis performed to identify the most significant precipitating factor(s) associated with the development of DKA at diabetes diagnosis showed that delayed start of insulin therapy was the most significant factor (OR = 1.267, P value = 0.023). Conclusion. The prevalence of DKA is high among Egyptianchildren at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. It is not only caused by misdiagnosis and mismanagement of diabetes, but also delayed initiation of insulin therapy in those diagnosed. This highlights the importance of increasing awareness concerning clinical features of diabetes in children and the urgency of insulin therapy among primary health care professionals and the community.

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