Clinical and metabolic characteristics of newly diagnosed diabetes patients: experience of a university hospital in Tunis

Diabetes Metab. 2006 Dec;32(6):632-5. doi: 10.1016/S1262-3636(07)70319-1.


Purpose: The aim of our retrospective study was to explore the clinical and metabolic characteristics of newly diagnosed diabetes patients over the age of 30 years.

Methods: Study participants were consecutive, newly diagnosed patients with diabetes, over the age of 30 years, presenting to our university hospital department between January 1999 and June 2003. Clinical and metabolic data were collected retrospectively by medical record review.

Results: Three hundred seventy patients were included; mean age was 54.1+/-14.0 years; 49% were women and a family history of diabetes was reported in 52% of patients. Patients presented with acute complications in 40% of cases. Symptoms of polyuria-polydipsia and weight loss were present at diagnosis in 87% and 76% of cases respectively. 58% of our patients were obese or overweight (BMI> or =25 kg/m(2)), hypertension was present in 22%, hypertriglyceridemia in 27% and high LDL cholesterol in 27%. Neuropathy was diagnosed in 24%, nephropathy in 13%, coronary heart disease in 9%, retinopathy in 8% of cases, stroke in 3% and peripheral arterial disease in 2%. Insulin was prescribed initially in 47% of cases.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that clinical symptoms and acute ketosis are the most common presenting features of diabetes mellitus in adults at the hospital level. Associated chronic complications are frequent.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tunisia


  • Blood Glucose