Pulmonary function changes in type 2 diabetic lungs

Venu Mandava, Nageswara Rao Gopathi


Background: Diabetes is a systemic disease with well-known complications involving eyes, kidneys and nerves. The presence of an extensive pulmonary micro vascular circulation and abundant connective tissue raises the possibility that lung may also be a target organ in diabetes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate pulmonary functions in patients with diabetes mellitus and to determine their correlation with glycemic control, duration of diabetes and its complications.

Methods: One hundred type 2 diabetic patients, aged 30-60 years, with 1-20 year duration of diabetes were included in the study. Pulmonary functions were performed with Helios spirometer and Smart PFT-CO transfer equipment. Glycemic levels assessed by measuring FPG, PPG and HbA1c. All patients were evaluated for diabetic microangiopathies: nephropathy (by 24-hour protein excretion), retinopathy (by direct ophthalmoscopy) and neuropathy (by clinical examination).

Results: All the spirometry values decreased in diabetic patients of which FVC, FEV1% show significant reduction. Majority have restrictive ventilation pattern. Poor lung functions are in correlation with high sugar levels and long duration. Diffusion capacity significantly reduced in micro vascular complications like retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy.

Conclusion: The study shows reduced dynamic lung functions in diabetes mellitus. Lung function parameters are negatively correlated to glycemic status and duration of diabetes. Hence strict glycemic control may improve pulmonary functions.


Spirometry, Diabetes, Glycemic control, Micro vascular complications

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