To determine whether obese and overweight pediatric patients with new onset diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) treated with continuous infusion insulin have increased time to subcutaneous insulin initiation or adverse events as compared with patients with normal body habitus.


A retrospective, cohort study was designed that included patients 2 to 18 years of age admitted with new onset DKA who received continuous infusion insulin from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2017. Patients were stratified according to BMI percentile with the primary outcome of time to initiation of subcutaneous insulin. Secondary endpoints included time to minimum beta-hydroxybutyrate, and incidence of hypoglycemia or other adverse events.


A total of 337 patients (46.6% male, 9.6 ± 3.8 years of age) met study criteria. Patients were classified by body habitus as obese (7.7%, n = 26), overweight (7.1%, n = 24), normal body weight (58.8%, n = 198), or underweight (26.4%, n = 89), based on BMI percentile. Most patients were initiated on insulin at 0.1 unit/kg/hr (86.7%) for 16.7 ± 7.0 hours. Time from continuous infusion insulin initiation to subcutaneous insulin was not different between body habitus groups, nor was hypoglycemia or the use of mannitol (p > 0.05). Median time to lowest beta-hydroxybutyrate was greater for obese (26.4, IQR [13.9, 41.9]) and overweight (32.4, IQR [18.3, 47.0]) groups than for normal body habitus patients (16.5, IQR [12.3, 23.8]) (p < 0.05).


Time to subcutaneous insulin and adverse events was not associated with body habitus, but obese and overweight patients may have delayed beta-hydroxybutyrate clearance.

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