Electrolyte disturbances in diabetic patients in Cotonou, Benin

Eugenie A. A. Anago, Thierry C. M. Medehouenou, Casimir D. Akpovi, Henri Tchehouenou


Background: As globally observed in low income countries, the incidence of diabetes rise rapidly in Benin. Electrolytes imbalance contribute to complications observed in diabetes. The aim of this study was to estimate electrolytes disturbances in diabetic patients in Cotonou, Benin.

Methods: A total of 260 participants were included in the study: 150 diabetic patients and for the control group110 age and sex matched non diabetic subjects. Glucose, Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+ and Cl- were determined in fasting blood samples. The proportions of subjects with abnormal values in the diabetic population and in the control group were compared using Chi-square test. The diabetic population was divided in three groups in regard of the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) level. For each group, the mean values of the parameters were compared to those of the control group using the Student’t-test.The significance level was set to 5%.

Results: Near half of the diabetic patients suffered from hyperkalemia (48%). Hypocalcemia was observed in 41.3% of the diabetic patients and hypercalcemia was found in 23.3%. Hypomagnesemia and hyponatremia affected more than 40% of the diabetic subjects.  The mean values of serum potassium were significantly elevated in all three groups of diabetic patients compared to the control group.

Conclusions: This study showed that electrolyte imbalances affect the diabetic patients in Cotonou.


Diabetes, Electrolytes, Hyperglycaemia, Hypocalcemia, Hyperkalemia

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