Cookies on the JDRF website

Our website uses cookies to make your experience as great as possible. By continuing to use the website, we will assume that you agree to the use of cookies on the website. However, if you would like to change your cookie settings, please visit the website of The Information Commissioner's Office to find out how to control or delete cookies on your browser.

All news

Find out the latest news about JDRF's research and fundraising events.

Displaying DKA


DKA hospitalisations remain high among young people with diabetes

New figures have revealed that 2011-2012 saw over 6,200 hospital admissions among under-25s with diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) – with almost 40% of these being due to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

The majority of DKA cases were among people who were already diagnosed as having diabetes, suggesting more needs to be done to help young people with their glucose management.

The report, produced by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, forms the second part of their National Paediatric Diabetes Audit. The first part, which you can read more about here, uncovered a significant gap between recommended checks (such as HbA1c and eye tests), and the care young people with diabetes are actually receiving.

This latest part covers the causes of hospitalisations amongst young people with diabetes. It highlights that the number of hospital admissions for DKA remains high, at around twice the level seen in 2005-2006. Young women in England saw the highest rate of admission for DKA, at over 11,500 hospitalisations per 100,000 people.

However, the numbers for most age groups and both genders were slightly lower than for the 2010-2011 period.

The report also found that 9% of hospitalisations – or 564 within 2011-2012 – were due to hypoglycaemia. This level was highest in children aged under 14 years, falling sharply in older groups. This may have been due to older people having developed better overall control or better ways of self-managing a hypo.

JDRF is funding several projects that would help people manage their blood glucose, including the artificial pancreas, a device that uses CGM readings to instruct an insulin pump to deliver the correct amount of insulin. You can read more about this research here.

The full RCPCH report can be read on their website here.


Research highlights DKA risks

JDRF and Diabetes UK recently launched a campaign to raise awareness of the life-threatening complication of type 1 diabetes called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This campaign focused on tackling the missed or delayed diagnoses of type 1 diabetes that were leading to DKA.

The campaign was prompted by a British Medical Journal articlerevealing that one in four newly diagnosed children have DKA at diagnosis of type 1, and 35% of children under the age of five go into DKA before being diagnosed. The study also showed that 30% of newly diagnosed children have had at least one related medical visit prior to diagnosis, suggesting the condition is being missed by doctors.

Research presented at Diabetes UK’s Annual Professional Conference offers further cause for concern. Dr Phil Ambery, from GlaxoSmithKline, used the UK’s General Practice Research Database (GPRD) – a collection of anonymous medical data from approximately 5 million patients – to follow the outcomes of people with type 1 diabetes hospitalised for DKA.

The study included 392 patients with a history of DKA, and found that compared to people with type 1 diabetes with no history of DKA, they were significantly more likely to have complications like retinopathy or neuropathy.

It is vital that people know the symptoms of the condition so that children can begin insulin treatment as quickly as possible and DKA can be prevented. Early symptoms of diabetes such as excessive thirst and frequent urination, especially with recent-onset of bed-wetting are signs that a child could have developed type 1 diabetes.

If you want to help raise awareness of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes, you can order one of our GP posters and ask your local surgery to display it.