Hyperglycaemic emergencies are common acute complications of diabetes mellitus (DM) but unfortunately, there is a dearth of published data on this entity from Nigeria. This study attempts to describe the clinical and laboratory scenario associated with this complication of DM.
This study was carried out in DM patients who presented to an urban hospital in Nigeria with hyperglycaemic emergencies (HEs). The information extracted included biodata, laboratory data and hospitalization outcome. Outcome measures included mortality rates, case fatality rates and predictive factors for HEs mortality. Statistical tests used are χ2, Student's t test and logistic regression.
A total of 111 subjects with HEs were recruited for the study. Diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosomolar hyperglycaemic state (HHS) accounted for 94 (85%) and 17 (15%) respectively of the HEs. The mean age (SD) of the subjects was 53.9 (14.4) years and their ages ranged from 22 to 86 years. DKA occurred in all subjects with type 1 DM and 73 (81%) of subjects with type 2 DM. The presence of HSS was noted in 17 (19%) of the subjects with type 2 DM.
Hypokalaemia (HK) was documented in 41 (37%) of the study subjects. Elevated urea levels and hyponatraemia were noted more in subjects with DKA than in those subjects with HHS (57.5%,19% vs 53%,18%). The mortality rate for HEs in this report is 20% and the case fatality rates for DKA and HHS are 18% and 35% respectively.
The predictive factors for HEs mortality include, sepsis, foot ulceration, previously undetected DM, hypokalaemia and being elderly.
HHS carry a higher case fatality rate than DKA and the predictive factors for hyperglycaemic emergencies' mortality in the Nigerian with DM include foot ulcers, hypokalaemia and being elderly.