Gender-related differences in clinical characteristics and outcomes in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis

Leonid Barski, Ilana Harman-Boehm, Roman Nevzorov, Elena Rabaev, Miri Zektser, Alan B. Jotkowitz, Lior Zeller, Elena Shleyfer, Yaniv Almog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is 1 of the most common and serious complications of diabetes, and is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. There is a paucity of data regarding gender-related differences in clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients hospitalized for DKA. The purpose of this study was to assess whether gender plays a role in clinical characteristics and outcome of DKA. We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients hospitalized with DKA between January 1, 2003 and January 1, 2010. The outcomes of male and female patients were compared. The primary outcome was in-hospital all-cause mortality. The secondary outcomes were 30-day all-cause mortality and rate of complications: sepsis, respiratory failure, multiple organ failure, stroke, and myocardial infarction. Eighty-nine men and 131 women with DKA were included in the study. Male patients had higher rates of chronic renal failure compared with women (16.9% vs 3.1%; P = 0.001), whereas more women than men received oral hypoglycemic therapy (19.8% vs 9.0%; P = 0.046); women also had higher glycosated hemoglobin levels before admission (11.9% [1.7%] vs 9.9% [2.2%]; P = 0.025). The in-hospital mortality rate was not significantly different for both genders (4.5% in the male group vs 3.8% in the female group; P = 1.0). We did not find significant differences between the 2 groups in the 30-day mortality rate (4.5% vs 6.1%; P = 0.7) or the rate of complications (5.6% vs 6.9%; P = 0.9). Advanced age, mechanical ventilation, and bedridden state were independent predictors of 30-day mortality. In our study we did not find statistically significant differences in the in-hospital mortality, 30-day all-cause mortality, or rate of complications between men and women hospitalized with DKA. However, women with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus receiving oral hypoglycemic therapy required particular attention and might benefit from earlier introduction and intensification of insulin therapy to avoid DKA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-377
Number of pages6
JournalGender Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • diabetes mellitus
  • diabetic ketoacidosis
  • gender-related differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies


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