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Lung Capacity Declines Faster With Diabetes
Date:3/28/2008

Finding shows respiratory system suffers collateral damage from blood sugar disease

FRIDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes, the leading cause of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and non-traumatic amputations, can also cause the lungs to deteriorate quicker than they normally do with age, a new study shows.

Although everyone experiences a decline in lung function as they grow older, research published in the April issue of Diabetes Care concluded that the lungs of people with type 2 diabetes deteriorate more quickly than normal.

The Johns Hopkins team that conducted the research, part of a larger investigation known as the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, found in previous research that reduced lung function predicted and preceded the development of type 2 diabetes.

In this latest study, there was an average difference of 6 millimeters more decline per year in forced vital capacity (FVC), a measure of how well the lungs fill with air, said study author Hsin-Chieh Jessica Yeh.

The scientists suggest the accelerated reduction in forced vital capacity (FVC) found in people with diabetes could be the result of high blood sugar levels stiffening lung tissue or fatty tissue in the chest and abdomen restricting the lungs.

The ARIC is a prospective cohort study of 15,792 adults from four U.S. communities. The present analysis, which looked at 1,100 diabetics and 10,162 non-diabetics, was based on three years of follow-up.

"This study confirms the results of five previous studies, which demonstrated lower lung function in diabetic subjects compared with their non-diabetic counterparts," said Dr. Guillermo E. Umpierrez, an associate professor of medicine at Emory University and section head of Diabetes and Endocrinology at the Grady Health System, both in Atlanta. "These studies also demonstrated a higher annual rate of lung function decline in the
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