People with Type-2 diabetes may be more at risk of developing restrictive lung disease (RLD) characterized by breathlessness, than non-diabetic patients, a study has found.
"Increased breathlessness, RLD, and interstitial lung anomalies can be associated with Type-2 diabetes," said lead author Stefan Kopf from the University Hospital Heidelberg in Germany.
Previous findings from animal experiments also show a significant connection between restrictive lung diseases and diabetes mellitus.
"We therefore suspect that lung disease is a late consequence of Type-2 diabetes," said Peter P. Nawroth, Professor at the varsity.
The study also showed that RLD is associated with albuminuria -- a condition where urinary albumin levels are elevated. This may be an indication that lung disease and kidney disease may be associated with nephropathy -- diabetic kidney disease.
For the study, published in the journal Respiration, the team analysed data from 110 patients with long-term Type-2 diabetes, 29 patients with newly diagnosed Type-2 diabetes, 68 patients with pre-diabetes and 48 non-diabetic patients, who were the controls.
The participants were examined for metabolic control, diabetes-related complications, breathlessness and lung function.
The results showed that RLD was found in 27 per cent of patients with long-term Type-2 diabetes, 20 per cent in patients with newly diagnosed diabetes, and nine per cent in patients with pre-diabetes.
Further, patients with pronounced symptoms and RLD also showed CT-morphologically, a fibrosating interstitial lung disease.
Diabetics also had increased pulmonary fibrosis -- a condition where the air sac in the lung becomes stiff and scarred.