Association between diabetes mellitus and chronic diseases

Author(s): Vidyashri S, Kathiravan Selvarasu & Vinod Krishna

Introduction: Diabetes mellitus is a group of chronic metabolic disorders which is characterized by impaired glucose metabolism caused by defects in the action of insulin in the human body or in the production of insulin. Diabetes has been implicated to increase the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction and chronic renal disease. Diabetes can influence hypertension by causing sodium retention due to stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and renin-angiotensin system. Previous researches indicate that people with diabetes are two to four times more prone to develop cardiovascular diseases leading to a higher risk of mortality. Hypothesis state that insulin resistance, excessive inflammation and visceral adiposity can be the underlying pathophysiology for thrombogenesis leading to cardiovascular diseases. Myocardial infarction is a condition that occurs when blood flow is reduced or blocked to a part of the heart leading to damage to the heart muscles. Patients with diabetes are reported to have more recurrent MI than the healthy population. This is because diabetes is associated with a state of hypercoagulability due to abnormal fibrinolytic state and function of platelets. Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause for chronic kidney disease in diabetic patients.

Aim: In this study we assess the association of diabetes Mellitus with chronic diseases including hypertension, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction and chronic renal disease.

Methods: From the patients visiting the private dental hospital, those diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus were considered in the inclusion criteria. Exclusion criteria involved those with poor maintenance of records and follow-up of uncooperative patients. The final sample size was 800. The gender and age were considered and tabulated, followed by their statistical analysis using SPSS software version.

Results: In this study we observed 50 to 60 year old subjects had a higher diabetes count (31.29%) compared to other age groups. It was also seen that males (58.43%) have a greater predisposition to diabetes when compared to females (41.57%). Males can also be seen to be more susceptible to hypertension, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction and chronic renal disease when compared to females. The most common comorbidity observed was hypertension (32.57%) with chronic renal diseases being the least common (5.71%).

Conclusion: Within the limits of this study, it can be concluded that diabetes increases the susceptibility to hypertension (32.57%), coronary heart disease (8.57%), myocardial infarction (7.14%) and chronic renal disease (5.71%). Awareness has to be spread about the diseases associated with diabetes in order for medical professionals to take precaution for the same and prevent any medical emergencies.