Comatose and noncomatose adult diabetic ketoacidosis patients at the University Teaching Hospital, Zambia: Clinical profiles, risk factors, and mortality outcomes.

Research paper by Mwanja M Kakusa, Brown B Kamanga, Owen O Ngalamika, Soka S Nyirenda

Indexed on: 05 Apr '16Published on: 05 Apr '16Published in: Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism


Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is one of the commonly encountered diabetes mellitus emergencies.This study aimed at describing the clinical profiles and hospitalization outcomes of DKA patients at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka, Zambia and to investigate the role of coma on mortality outcome.This was a cross-sectional analytical study of hospitalized DKA patients at UTH. The data collected included clinical presentation, precipitating factors, laboratory profiles, complications, and hospitalization outcomes. Primary outcome measured was all-cause in-hospital mortality.The median age was 40 years. Treatment noncompliance was the single highest identified risk factor for development of DKA, followed by new detection of diabetes, then infections. Comatose patients were significantly younger, had lower baseline blood pressure readings, and higher baseline respiratory rates compared to noncomatose patients. In addition, comatose patients had higher baseline admission random blood glucose readings. Their baseline sodium and chloride levels were also higher. The prevalences of hypokalemia, hypernatremia, and hyperchloremia were also higher among comatose patients compared to noncomatose patients. Development of aspiration during admission with DKA, pneumonia at baseline, development of renal failure, and altered mental status were associated with an increased risk of mortality. Development of renal failure was independently predictive of mortality.The mortality rate from DKA hospitalizations is high at UTH. Treatment noncompliance is the single highest identifiable precipitant of DKA. Aspiration, development of renal failure, altered sensorium, and pneumonia at baseline are associated with an increased risk of mortality. Development of renal failure during admission is predictive of mortality.