HealthDay News — A diagnosis of type 1 diabetes (T1D) is missed less frequently when patients present during childhood or adolescence, but unlike in adults, misdiagnosis in childhood is associated with an increased likelihood of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), according to a study published in Clinical Diabetes.

Cynthia Munoz, PhD, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues used data from the T1D Exchange clinic registry to identify adults with T1D and parents of children with T1D. Overall, 2526 participants of the online survey were asked about their diagnosis experiences.

The researchers found that excessive thirst (88.1%), excessive urination (82%%), and fatigue (74.8%) were the most common symptoms at diagnosis for both children and adults with T1D. At diagnosis, two-thirds were hospitalized and 40.9% experienced DKA. Pediatric patients were more likely to be in DKA (48% vs 28.1%; relative risk, 1.71). More than two-thirds of children (68%) with a missed diagnosis of T1D experienced DKA vs 42.8% of children whose diagnosis was not missed (relative risk, 1.58). Among patients diagnosed with T1D as adults, the diagnosis was initially missed in 39% of patients, with more than three-fourths receiving an incorrect diagnosis of T2D.

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“Our retrospective online survey found that 25 percent of all participants were misdiagnosed and that misdiagnosis was associated with an 18 percent increased risk for DKA compared to those correctly diagnosed,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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