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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 79-84

Clinical and laboratory profile of diabetic ketoacidosis in elderly with type 2 diabetes mellitus

1 Department of Medicine, Guntur Government Hospital, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Medicine, MVJ Medical College and Research Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Consultant Physician, Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohsin Aslam
Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Somajiguda, Hyderabad - 500 082, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/bjhs.bjhs_10_18

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INTRODUCTION: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in elderly is rare and poses a special problem because of high degree of mortality, comorbidity, age-related impairment of functional ability, and increased chances of hypoglycemia. OBJECTIVES: The main objective is to study the precipitating factors, clinical and laboratory profile of DKA in elderly. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 100 type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients, ≥60 years, admitted in a rural tertiary medical center were included in this study. RESULTS: Most of them had prolonged diabetes with mean duration of 7.3 ± 4.6 years. 24 patients were newly detected diabetes mellitus. Systemic infections seen in 67 patients (respiratory –32.8%, sepsis – 28.4%, acute gastroenteritis – 22.4%, and urinary tract infections– 16.4%), were the main precipitating factors, followed by noncompliance to drugs (34). Osmotic symptoms were reported by most (62) followed by pain abdomen (56). Dehydration was seen in 72 patients, whereas altered sensorium in 48. Blood glucose at presentation (493.12 ± 72.38 mg/dl) and HbA1c levels (9.63 ± 0.94%) were found to be elevated with lowered arterial pH (7.14 ± 0.07) and bicarbonate (13.7 ± 4.2 mEq/L). 22 had severe acidosis and 10 had mild acidosis. There was no mortality in the present series. CONCLUSION: DKA is more common in T2DM than anticipated. The most common precipitating factor is infection followed by noncompliance even in elderly. Majority had poor glycemic control. All elderly diabetic patients with high serum glucose level must be investigated for ketosis as the symptoms of DKA are minimal and morbidity and mortality are high in these patients.

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