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PLOS ONE  2013 

Risk Factors for Fatality among Confirmed Adult Dengue Inpatients in Singapore: A Matched Case-Control Study

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081060

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Objectives To identify demographic, clinical and laboratory risk factors for death due to dengue fever in adult patients in Singapore. Methods Multi-center retrospective study of hospitalized adult patients with confirmed dengue fever in Singapore between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2008. Non-fatal controls were selected by matching age and year of infection with fatal cases. World Health Organization 1997, 2009 criteria were applied to define dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), warning signs and severe dengue. Statistical significance was assessed by conditional logistic regression modeling. Results Significantly more fatal cases than matched controls had pre-existing co-morbid conditions, and presented with abdominal pain/tenderness. Median pulse rates were significantly higher while myalgia was significantly less frequent in cases. . Fatal cases also had higher leucocyte counts, platelet counts, serum sodium, potassium, urea, creatine and bilirubin levels on admission compared to controls. There was no statistical significant difference between the prevalence of DHF and hematocrit level among cases and controls. Multivariate analysis showed myalgia and leucocyte count at presentation were independent predictors of fatality (adjusted odds ratios 0.09 and 2.94 respectively). None of the controls was admitted to intensive care unit (ICU) or given blood transfusion, while 71.4% and 28.6% of fatal cases received ICU admission and blood transfusion. Conclusions Absence of myalgia and leucocytosis on admission were independently associated with fatality in our matched case-control study. Fatalities were also commonly associated with co-morbidities and clinicians should be alarmed if dengue patients fulfilled severe dengue case definition on admission.


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