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Diabetes Patients May Be at Higher Risk for Lung Diseases

Last Updated: January 20, 2010.

The declining lung function of patients with diabetes puts them at increased risk of a range of lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonia and asthma, but not lung cancer, according to a study in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The declining lung function of patients with diabetes puts them at increased risk of a range of lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonia and asthma, but not lung cancer, according to a study in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

Samantha F. Ehrlich and colleagues at Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland analyzed data on 1,811,228 individuals, using a survey of 121,886 of them to collect data on confounders.

Among cohort members with diagnosed diabetes, the researchers found a significantly increased incidence of asthma, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, and pneumonia. The associations remained even after taking into account potential confounders such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, smoking status, and body mass index.

"These findings were consistent through out all of our analyses, whether conducted among the full cohort or the subcohort of survey responders," the authors write. "Future studies examining the risk of these pulmonary conditions among patients with and without diabetes could benefit from a prospective design that includes repeated measurements of smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index, and physical activity over time."

The study was funded by Eli Lilly and Pfizer. One author reported financial relationships with Eli Lilly and Takeda.

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