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09-09-2010 | Diabetes | Article

Restrictive lung function linked to Type 2 diabetes and fatal CHD


Free abstract

MedWire News: Researchers report that restrictive impairment of lung function, as indicated by low forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), is associated with increased risk for incident Type 2 diabetes and fatal coronary heart disease (CHD) in middle-aged men.

"The finding from this and other studies suggest that reduced lung function not only preceded the onset of diabetes but also continued at an accelerated pace after the onset of diabetes," say study author Sasiwarang Goya Wannamethee (University College London, UK) and team.

"The increased risk of fatal events and increased case fatality associated with poor lung function suggest that reduced lung function may be another potential factor linking diabetes to increased risk of CHD and increased susceptibility to a fatal episode in the event of a cardiac event," they add.

Wannamethee and colleagues followed-up a group of 4434 British men aged 40-59 years with no prior history of diabetes, CHD, or stroke for 20 years. During this time, there were 256 cases of incident Type 2 diabetes, 276 fatal CHD events, and 404 nonfatal CHD events.

The researchers found that both FVC and FEV1, but not the FEV1/FVC ratio, were significantly and inversely related to both incident Type 2 diabetes and fatal CHD events.

Patients in quartile one for FVC and FEV1 (<3.97 l FVC; <2.95 l FEV1) were 59% and 74%, respectively, more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those in quartile four (over 4.87 l FVC; over 3.81 l FEV1), both statistically significant trends.

Similarly, the risk for fatal CHD was increased 48% and 81% among patients in quartile one for FVC and FEV1 respectively, compared with those in quartile four, also statistically significant trends.

However, following adjustment for the inflammatory factors C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, both these associations were somewhat weakened.

"Further studies are now needed to extend such novel observations," say the investigators.

They conclude in the journal Diabetes Care: "The association between reduced lung function and development of Type 2 diabetes and fatal CHD events may provide another possible explanation for the increased risk of fatal CHD in individuals with Type 2 diabetes."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert