Aims/hypothesis: To determine whether the presence of type 2 diabetes and the degree of metabolic control are related to reduced pulmonary function in obese individuals.
Methods: Seventy-five morbidly obese women (25 with type 2 diabetes [cases]--and 50 without diabetes [controls]) with a history of non-smoking and without prior cardiovascular or respiratory disease were prospective recruited for a case-control study in the outpatient obesity unit of a referral centre. Both groups were closely matched by age, BMI and waist circumference. Pulmonary function test included forced spirometry and static pulmonary volume measurements.
Results: Type 2 diabetic patients showed lower forced expiratory volume at 1 s (FEV1) (mean difference -11.6% of predicted [95% CI -20.4 to -2.8]; p = 0.011), and FEV1/forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) ratio (mean difference -4.4% [95% CI -8.1 to -0.7]; p = 0.049), but a greater residual volume (RV) (mean difference 19.5% of predicted [95% CI 10.8-28.3]; p < 0.001). In addition, an obstructive ventilatory pattern was more frequent in diabetic patients. Significant negative correlations between FEV1 and fasting glucose, HbA1c and HOMA insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were detected. By contrast, RV was positively correlated with fasting glucose, HbA1c and HOMA-IR. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that fasting glucose and HbA1c independently predicted FEV1 and RV.
Conclusions/interpretation: The presence of diabetes and the degree of glycaemic control are related to respiratory function impairment in morbidly obese women. Therefore, the impact of type 2 diabetes on pulmonary function should be taken into consideration by those providing care for obese people.