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Diabetes Linked to Reduced Pulmonary Function

Those with diabetes but no overt pulmonary disease have modest degree of impairment

THURSDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes, without the presence of overt pulmonary disease, is linked to a small but significant degree of pulmonary function impairment in a restrictive pattern, according to research published in the August issue of Chest.

Bram van den Borst, M.D., of the Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of 40 studies that discussed pulmonary function data from 3,182 individuals with diabetes and 27,080 controls. The mean differences between the groups for lung function parameters were calculated.

The researchers found that the pooled mean difference was −5.1 percent predicted for forced expiratory volume in one second, −6.3 for forced vital capacity, and −7.2 for diffusion of the lungs for carbon monoxide. The findings were not due to body mass index, smoking, duration of diabetes, or glycated hemoglobin. The degree of impairment was similar to that seen from smoking.

"More research is needed into possible pathophysiological mechanisms. At present, because of reasonable doubts that the decline in pulmonary function is actually caused by diabetes, it remains unclear whether tighter glycemic control would be beneficial for the pulmonary function. Considering the rapidly increasing prevalence of lifestyle-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the potential implications for patients with diabetes with overt pulmonary diseases deserve further attention," the authors conclude.

The study was performed within a Top Institute Pharma project.

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