People with type 2 diabetes may be at a significantly higher risk of suffering from breathlessness and restrictive lung disease (RLD), a study has found.
RLD is a category of respiratory diseases that restrict lung expansion, resulting in a decreased lung volume. The study, published in the journal Respiration, involved 110 patients with long-term type 2 diabetes, 29 patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, 68 patients with pre-diabetes and 48 non-diabetic patients (controls).
Researchers from Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany examined the participants for metabolic control, diabetes-related complications, breathlessness, and lung function. "Increased breathlessness, RLD, and interstitial lung anomalies can be associated with type 2 diabetes," said Stefan Kopf from the University Hospital Heidelberg.
It was found that people with type 2 diabetes are significantly more likely to suffer from breathlessness and RLD, than the control group. RLD was found in 27 per cent of patients with long-term type 2 diabetes, in 20 per cent of patients with newly diagnosed diabetes, and in 9 per cent of patients with pre-diabetes.
There were also differences in the morphological analysis of the lung tissue of subjects with and without diabetes. Patients with diabetes had increased pulmonary fibrosis.
In addition, the study showed that RLD is associated with albuminuria. In the disease, urinary albumin levels are elevated. This may be an indication that lung disease and kidney disease may be associated with diabetic kidney disease (nephropathy).
"In this study, the prevalence of RLD was 20 to 27 per cent in patients with diabetes. Moreover, the radiological and histological analyses suggest an association with fibrosing interstitial lung anomalies," said Professor Hans-Ulrich Kauczor from University Hospital Heidelberg.