Decrease in frequency of ketoacidosis at diabetes onset over the past two decades - perspectives of a paediatric tertiary care centre

Diabet Med. 2012 Aug;29(8):e170-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2012.03679.x.


Aims: To determine whether the frequency and severity of diabetic ketoacidosis and the clinical characteristics of children at diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes mellitus have changed over the past decades among patients under surveillance of a tertiary paediatric centre.

Methods: In three time-periods, 75 (1986-1987), 86 (1996-1997) and 245 (2006-2007) patients at mean age 10.1 ± 4.7 years (0.6-20.0) were diagnosed with new-onset Type 1 diabetes. Data on clinical characteristics and laboratory evaluation at diagnosis retrieved from the patients' files . Comparative analysis was performed between the three time periods.

Results: The frequency of diabetic ketoacidosis at diagnosis was 40% in 1986-1987, 41.8% in 1996-1997 and 29.4% in 2006-2007; the last rate was significantly lower (P=0.04). No significant differences in the proportions of patients with severe or moderate diabetic ketoacidosis were found over time. Mean weight standard deviation score significantly increased from -0.72 ± 1.8 in 1986-1987 to -0.27 ± 1.2 in 2006-2007 (P<0.05), while percentage weight loss (∼6.5%) before diagnosis remained unchanged. In 2006-2007 a higher proportion of children had glucose testing at the community clinic before diagnosis, than in the earlier years (73.1 vs. 59.6%, P=0.003).

Conclusions: The overall frequency of diabetic ketoacidosis in children with newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes has decreased in the past decade, although the degree of metabolic decompensation has remained unchanged.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Registries
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult