The aim of the study was to evaluate, after the first year of a national information campaign, the effect on the frequency and severity of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes (T1D) in children and adolescents in France. The following data were collected during a 2-year period in people younger than 15 years of age at diagnosis of T1D, in 146 pediatric centers: age, sex, duration of symptoms, patient's previous care, clinical and biological signs, and family history of T1D. DKA was defined as pH<7.30 or bicarbonate<15mmol/L, severe DKA as pH<7.10 or bicarbonate <5mmol/L. During the 2nd year, an information campaign targeting health professionals and families was launched with the objective of reducing the time to diagnosis. Data were compared between the year before the campaign (year 0) and the first year of the campaign (year 1). The number of new cases of T1D was 1299 for year 0 and 1247 for year 1. Between year 0 and year 1, the rate of DKA decreased from 43.9% to 40.5% (P=0.08), exclusively due to the decrease of severe DKA from 14.8 to 11.4% (P=0.01). In the 0- to 5-year-old and 5- to 10-year-old age groups, the relative decrease in the rate of DKA was 13% and 15%, and 23% and 41% for severe DKA, respectively. In patients referred to the hospital by a pediatrician or who came at the family's initiative, the decrease was 34% and 7%, and 39% and 32% for severe DKA, respectively. No change was observed in the 10- to 15-year-old group or in those children who were referred by a general practitioner. In multivariate analyses, a higher DKA rate was associated with the young age of the child (<5 years), being hospitalized at the parents' initiative rather than being referred by a doctor, and the absence of a family history of T1D. A higher rate of severe DKA was associated with these last two factors but not with the child's age. The frequency of DKA at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes remains high in children and adolescents, but the first year of an information campaign decreased it. The results have also helped better define the strategy and targets of the continuing prevention campaign, to more efficiently reduce the morbidity and mortality of T1D at diagnosis in children and adolescents in France.
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