Seeking hospital care for diabetic ketoacidosis during the weekend as opposed to during the week may increase mortality risk, according to findings presented at the AACE Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress.

Yasaman Motlaghzadeh, MD-MPH, an internal medicine resident at Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School in West Orange, New Jersey, and colleagues conducted a comparison of 14,059 admissions for diabetic ketoacidosis during weekdays and 4,950 during weekends from 2011 to 2014 in the National Inpatient Survey database. How long patients stayed in the hospital, in-hospital mortality and diabetic ketoacidosis complications were assessed via review

The study was undertaken because, as Motlaghzadeh told Endocrine Today, “realizing the ‘weekend effect’ would allow us to develop specific strategies for hospitals to counteract this deadly phenomenon.”

The researchers found that the risk for in-hospital mortality was higher for patients admitted during the weekend compared with those admitted during the week (P < .05). This increased mortality risk during weekend treatment (OR = 3; 95% CI, 1.68-7.3) remained in fully adjusted analysis, which included consideration for Charlson Comorbidity Index. 

Despite the difference in mortality risk, the researchers noted that there was no significant variance in length of stay or complications due to diabetic ketoacidosis between the two groups. 

According to Motlaghzadeh, these findings do “not appear to mediate the ‘weekend effect’ for mortality,” but the differences between the two groups may be “due to lower availability of medical, nursing and other health professional staff on weekends.” – by Phil Neuffer


Motlaghzadeh Y, et al. Evaluating the weekend effect on diabetic ketoacidosis management. Presented at: AACE Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress; April 24-28, 2019; Los Angeles.

Disclosure Motlaghzadeh reports no relevant financial disclosures.



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