Objective: To study the effects of type 2 diabetes mellitus on lung function and to determine its severity in relation to duration of disease.
Methods: We conducted this study in the Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital and Diabetic Centre, King Abdul-Aziz University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during the year 2002 - 2004. A group of 32 apparently healthy volunteer male type 2 diabetic patients were randomly selected with an age range from 24-73 years. We matched the diabetic patients with another group of 40 control healthy male subjects in terms of age, height, weight, and socioeconomic status. Both groups met with exclusion criteria as per standard. Spirometry was performed on an Electronic Spirometer (Schiller AT-2 Plus, Switzerland) and results were compared using the 2-tailed student t-test.
Results: Diabetic patients showed a significant reduction in the forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and peak expiratory flow (PEF) relative to their matched controls. However, there were no significant difference in the forced expiratory ratio (FEV1/FVC%) and middle half of the FVC (FEF 25-75%) between the groups.
Conclusion: Lung function in type 2 diabetic patients is impaired by a decrease in FVC, FEV1 and PEF, as compared to their matched controls. Stratification of results by years of disease showed a dose-response effect on lung function.