High Mortality Risk in Hypoglycemic and Dysglycemic Children Admitted at a Referral Hospital in a Non Malaria Tropical Setting of a Low Income Country

Citation: Barennes H, Sayavong E, Pussard E (2016) High Mortality Risk in Hypoglycemic and Dysglycemic Children Admitted at a Referral Hospital in a Non Malaria Tropical Setting of a Low Income Country. PLoS ONE 11(2): e0150076. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150076
Published: February 24, 2016

Introduction: Hypoglycemia is a recognized feature of severe malaria but its diagnosis and management remain problematic in resource-limited settings. There is limited data on the burden and prognosis associated with glycemia dysregulation in non-neonate children in non-malaria areas. We prospectively assessed the abnormal blood glucose prevalence and the outcome and risk factors of deaths in critically ill children admitted to a national referral hospital in Laos.
Methods: Consecutive children (1 month-15 years) admitted to the pediatric ward of Mahosot hospital, were categorized using the integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI). Blood glucose was assessed once on admission through a finger prick using a bedside glucometer. Glycemia levels: hypoglycemia: < 2.2 mmol/L (< 40 mg⁄ dl), low glycemia: 2.2–4.4 mmol/L (40–79 mg⁄ dl), euglycemia: 4.4–8.3 mmol/L (80–149 mg⁄ dl), and hyperglycemia: > 8.3 mmol/L (≥150 mg⁄ dl), were related to the IMCI algorithm and case fatality using univariate and multivariate analysis.
Results: Of 350 children, 62.2% (n = 218) were severely ill and 49.1% (n = 172) had at least one IMCI danger sign. A total of 15 (4.2%, 95%CI: 2.4–6.9) had hypoglycemia, 99 (28.2%, 95%CI: 23.6–33.3) low glycemia, 201 (57.4%, 95% CI: 52.0–62.6) euglycemia and 35 (10.0%, 95% CI: 7.0–13.6) hyperglycemia. Woman_testing_glucose4Hypoglycemia was associated with longer fasting (p = 0.001) and limited treatment before admission (p = 0.09). Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia were associated with hypoxemia (SaO2) (p = 0.001). A total of 21 (6.0%) of the children died: 66.6% with hypoglycemic, 6.0% with low glycemic, 5.7% with hyperglycemic and 1.4% with euglycemic groups. A total of 9 (2.5%) deaths occurred during the first 24 hours of admission and 5 (1.7%) within 3 days of hospital discharge. Compared to euglycemic children, hypoglycemic and low glycemic children had a higher rate of early death (20%, p<0.001 and 5%, p = 0.008; respectively). They also had a higher risk of death (OR: 132; 95%CI: 29.0–596.5; p = 0.001; and OR: 4.2; 95%CI: 1.1–15.6; p = 0.02; respectively). In multivariate analyses, hypoglycemia (OR: 197; 95%CI: 33–1173.9), hypoxemia (OR: 5.3; 95%CI: 1.4–20), presence of hepatomegaly (OR: 8.7; 95%CI: 2.0–37.6) and having an illiterate mother (OR: 25.9; 95%CI: 4.2–160.6) were associated with increased risk of death.
Conclusion: Hypoglycemia is linked with a high risk of mortality for children in non malaria tropical settings. Blood sugar should be monitored and treatment provided for sick children, especially with danger signs and prolonged fasting. Further evaluations of intervention using thresholds including low glycemia is recommended in resource-limited settings. Research is also needed to determine the significance, prognosis and care of hyperglycemia.


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