Objective: To determine the prevalence of lower-extremity arterial disease and the sites of arterial obstruction in patients with pancreatic diabetes.
Patients and methods: The retrospective study included 83 patients with diabetes due to chronic pancreatitis (age [m +/- SD] 54.5 +/- 9.5 yr, diabetes duration 9.7 +/- 7.4 yr) and 83 patients with idiopathic diabetes were carefully matched for sex, age, diabetes duration and treatment. They were screened for arteriopathy by segmental blood pressures and Doppler ultrasound, and for cardiovascular risk factors. The arterial lesions were classified as proximal (above-knee), distal (below-knee), and combined (both above- and below-knee).
Results: Lower extremity arterial disease occurred in 25.3% of pancreatitis patients and in 14.5% of idiopathic diabetes patients (p = 0.08). The sites of obstruction in both groups were similar; proximal obstruction: 4 vs 4 cases; distal: 10 vs 5 cases, combined: 7 vs 3 cases. The prevalence of arteriopathy increased with age and diabetes duration in both groups (p < 0.01). Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B were lower in the pancreatitis patients (p < 0.01); 92% of these were smokers vs 62% of idiopathic diabetes patients (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Arteriopathy, assessed by non-invasive tests, has the same prevalence and distribution in chronic pancreatitis and idiopathic diabetes patients, despite their different vascular risk factor profiles. This emphasizes the role of chronic hyperglycaemia and its duration in the pathogenesis of macroangiopathy in diabetic patients.