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April 9, 2002

Hyperglycemia and DKA

Question from Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA:

What percentage of the population of people with diabetes gets severe DKA every year? What is the mortality rate of these patients?

Answer:

I don’t think anyone has good data on either question. DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis] mortality is rare, but morbidity (time in ICU) and the rare death are unnecessary.

LD

[Editor’s comment: An often-quoted mortality rate from DKA is 1-2%, when it is treated in a major center.

SS]

[Editor’s comment: And the mortality rate from untreated DKA is 100%.

WWQ]