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Lung May Be a Target of Diabetic Injury

Severity of diabetes correlates with reduction in lung function

FRIDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with type 2 diabetes have worsened measures of lung function compared to those without diabetes, suggesting that the organ damage occurring in diabetes extends to the lung, according to an article published in the April issue of Diabetes Care.

Hsin-Chieh Yeh, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues compared spirometric measures of lung function at baseline and at three-year follow-up in 1,100 diabetic and 10,162 non-diabetic adults aged 45 to 64 participating in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study.

The researchers found that diabetic individuals had significantly lower predicted forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) compared to non-diabetics, even after adjustment for demographic and clinical characteristics. In addition, levels of hyperglycemia and severity of diabetes showed an inverse correlation with FVC and FEV1. Furthermore, in prospective analyses, FVC showed a faster decline over time in diabetics compared to non-diabetics.

The authors of an associated editorial hypothesize about how diabetic-induced lung injury contributes to a worsened clinical picture: "Cumulative loss of pulmonary reserves eventually aggravates tissue hypoxia associated with any form of angiopathy in distant organs that ultimately underlies diabetic morbidity and mortality. The data of Yeh et al. lend support to this hypothesis, but proving the charges beyond reasonable doubt remains a daunting challenge."

Analysis of the study manuscript was partially funded by Pfizer.

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