Association of socioeconomic status and DKA readmission in adults with type 1 diabetes: Analysis of the US National Readmission Database

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6 Scopus citations


Objective To identify patient and hospital predictors of recurrent diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) admissions in adults in the USA with type 1 diabetes, focusing on socioeconomic indicators. Research design and methods This cross-sectional study used the National Readmission Database to identify adult patients with type 1 diabetes admitted for DKA between 2010 and 2015. The index DKA admission was defined as the first admission within the calendar year and the primary outcome was recurrent DKA admission(s) within the same calendar year. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed using covariates of patient and hospital factors at the index admission to determine the odds of DKA readmission(s). Results Among 181 284 index DKA admissions, 39 693 (22%) had at least one readmission within the calendar year, of which 33 931 (86%) and 5762 (14%) had 1-3 and ≥4 DKA readmissions, respectively. When compared with the highest income quartile, patients in the first and second income quartiles had 46% (95% CI 30% to 64%) and 34% (95% CI 19% to 51%) higher odds of four or more DKA readmissions, respectively. Medicaid and Medicare insurance were both associated with a 3.3-fold adjusted risk (95% CI 3.0 to 3.7) for ≥4 readmissions compared with private insurance, respectively. Younger age, female sex, and discharge against medical advice were also predictive. Conclusions Lower socioeconomic status and Medicaid insurance are strong predictors of DKA readmissions in adults with type 1 diabetes in the USA. Further studies are needed to understand the mediators of this association to inform multilevel interventions for this high-risk population. Significance of the study The association of socioeconomic status (SES) and hospital admission for DKA has been studied in pediatrics with type 1 diabetes, but the data in adults are limited, and studies evaluating recurrent DKA admissions are scarcer. To our knowledge, this is the first study to describe predictors of recurrent DKA admissions in adults with type 1 diabetes on a national level in the USA. We found that those at highest risk of recurrent DKA are young women with low SES who had Medicaid or Medicare insurance. These findings should prompt further studies to explore the mediators of these disparities in patients with type 1 diabetes, as recurrent DKA results in high healthcare utilization and increased risk of long-term complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere000621
JournalBMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • diabetes ketoacidosis
  • dka readmissions
  • socioeconomic status
  • type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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