Ann Geriatr Med Res 2016; 20(4): 185-189
Clinical and Biochemical Characteristics of Elderly Patients With Hyperglycemic Emergency State at a Single Institution
Yun Jae Shin, Dae In Kim, Dong Won Lee, Beung Kwan Jeon, Jung Geun Ji, Jung Ah Lim, Young Jung Cho, Hong Woo Nam
Department of Internal Medicine, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Young Jung Cho, MD, PhD 
Department of Endocrinology, National Medical Center, 245 Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul 04564, Korea 
Tel: +82-2-2260-7114 
Received: June 20, 2016; Revised: September 22, 2016; Accepted: October 5, 2016; Published online: December 31, 2016.
© The Korea Geriatrics Society. All rights reserved.

Background: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) are two of the most serious acute complications of diabetes mellitus. In this study, we investigated the clinical characteristics of elderly diabetic patients in a hyperglycemic emergency state. 
Methods: We reviewed the medical records of elderly patients admitted with a diagnosis of DKA and HHS over the past 5 years at the National Medical Center in Korea. Patients were divided into 3 groups: those with only DKA, those with only HHS, and those with both DKA and HHS. We assessed the clinical characteristics, economic vulnerability, precipitating factors, and hospital mortality. 
Results: Twenty-seven patients (31 episodes) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Nineteen episodes occurred in male patients. The mean age, blood glucose, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were 78.9 years, 700.7 mg/dL, and 10.6%, respectively. The mean mortality rate was 22.5%; the mortality rates of the DKA only group, the HHS only group, and the group with both DKA and HHS were 10%, 23%, and 37.5%, respectively. DKA was diagnosed in 10 patients (32%), HHS was diagnosed in 13 patients (42%), and both DKA and HHS were diagnosed in 8 patients (26%). There was no relationship between age, sex, economic vulnerability, HbA1c, insulin use, and mortality rate. However, the mortality rate was higher than that of a previous report. Self-discontinuation of diabetes medication and infections are the most common precipitating factors. 
Conclusion: Elderly patients with diabetes are prone to experience hyperglycemic emergency and have a high mortality rate. Therefore, more focused education and a social medical service system for those with diabetes should be instituted.
Keywords: Elderly, Hyperglycemic emergency state, Diabetic ketoacidosis, Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state

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