Comparison of Diabetic Ketoacidosis Characteristics During- and Before the COVID-19 Pandemic

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Despite evidence about the relationship between diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and infectious diseases, our knowledge of DKA during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic remains unclear.


This study aimed to compare the DKA situation among individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to pre-pandemic.


This retrospective-longitudinal study included individuals with T1DM and T2DM hospitalized with newly diagnosed DKA before (March to August 2018 and 2019) and during (March to August 2020 and 2021) the COVID-19 pandemic. Demographics, the frequency of new-onset diabetes mellitus (DM) and new-onset DKA, days of hospitalization, DKA severity, laboratory tests, and mortality were assessed.


Of 162 patients with DKA, 139 patientswere newly diagnosed. The frequency of individuals withnew-onsetDMhadincreased during the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic (P = 0.047). Moreover, new-onset DKA was higher in 2020 and 2021 versus 2019 and 2018 (P = 0.002). Significantly, there were no T2DM patients with DKA in pre-pandemic, but DKA admissions in people with T2DM increased in 2021 (P < 0.001). The severity of new-onset DKA had increased during the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic (P = 0.000). However, there was no significant difference between pre-and the pandemic regarding mortality (P = 0.981). Additionally, hospitalization length (P = 0.043) and mortality (P = 0.038) were higher in patients with T2DM compared to T1DM.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the frequency of DKA and its severity was higher than in pre-pandemic, and COVID-19 can be more life-threatening in patients with T2DM. Therefore, healthcare providers should be alert to DKA, especially in patients with T2DM.

International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Volume:21 Issue: 3, Jul 2023
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