Dysregulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and duration of diabetes

J Diabet Complications. Oct-Dec 1991;5(4):218-20. doi: 10.1016/0891-6632(91)90079-5.


We compared insulin-dependent diabetic outpatients with and without retinopathy for plasma indices of hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Diabetic patients with moderate-to-severe retinopathy had significantly higher postdexamethasone plasma levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone than patients with minimal or no retinopathy. However, when duration of diabetes was taken into account this difference was no longer significant. These data suggest that dysregulation of the HPA axis and retinal microvascular complications found in diabetic patients may both be a function of duration of diabetes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / blood*
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Dexamethasone
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Hydrocortisone / metabolism
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiopathology*


  • Dexamethasone
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Hydrocortisone