Objective: The objective of this study was to describe the clinical outcomes and treatment intensity of adult intensive care unit (ICU) patients with moderate-to-severe diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). We aimed also to compare their clinical course with matched non-DKA ICU controls and to identify prognostic factors for mortality and hospital readmission within 1 year.
Design: This is a retrospective matched cohort study.
Setting: The settings are 2 tertiary teaching hospitals in Edmonton, Canada.
Patients: Patients were adults with moderate-to-severe DKA admitted from January 2002 to December 2009. Control patients were defined as randomly selected age, sex, and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score-matched nondiabetic ICU patients (1:4.5 matching ratio). Diabetic patients were stratified according to severity of exacerbation.
Measurements and main results: From 2002 to 2009, the incidence of DKA per 1000 admissions was 4.59 (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.64-5.71). Severe DKA was associated with higher Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores in the first 3 days of ICU stay as compared with moderate DKA. Mechanical ventilation was received in 39%, vasopressors in 17%, and renal replacement therapy in 12% of DKA patients, respectively. One-year mortality and readmission rates were 9% and 36%. By logistic regression, death and/or readmission occurring in 1 year was independently associated with insulin use (odds ratio, 4.79; 95% CI, 1.14-20.05) and treatment noncompliance (odds ratio, 3.33; 95% CI, 1.04-10.64). Compared with matched non-DKA patients, those with DKA had lower mortality and were more likely to be discharged home.
Conclusions: Diabetic ketoacidosis necessitating ICU admission is associated with considerable resource utilization and long-term risk for death. Interventions aimed to improve compliance with therapy may prevent readmissions and improve the long-term outcome.
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; Diabetic ketoacidosis; Insulin; Intensive care unit; Mortality; Resource utilization.
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