We evaluated the epidemiology of diabetic ketoacidosis in the period 1960–1979. In Frederiksborg County, Denmark, the incidence of ketoacidosis at the county hospital increased from 60 per 100,000 in the period 1943–1963 to 120 per 100,000 in the period 1960–1979. In the investigation period we found an increasing incidence confined to urban areas. Precipitating factors were not somatic in 53% of the cases. Patients in the lowest social class (V) were in a higher risk group, experiencing ketoacidosis more often and having a higher frequency of severe acidosis. Forty-nine percent of the patients have had a diabetes duration of more than 5 yr. The lethality rate decreased from the period 1943–1963 and was 4.7% in the investigation period 1960–1979.

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