Patients with cystic fibrosis are at increased risk for developing diabetes mellitus.
The longer a patient with cystic fibrosis survives, the greater the risk that s/he will develop diabetes mellitus. The annual age-dependent incidence ranges from 4-9%.
Some of the risk may be related to islet cell dysfunction or destruction with impaired insulin release.
The diagnosis of diabetes in a patient with cystic fibrosis can be challenging. Many patients show an impaired fasting glucose (pre-diabetes). Lanng et al 1995) recommend annual oral glucose tolerance testing in all cystic fibrosis over 10 years of age.
The onset of diabetes mellitus may be associated with a deterioration in clinical symptoms.
Insulin therapy has been reported as beneficial to patients with cystic fibrosis who develop diabetes, resulting in improved pulmonary function and a reduction in pulmonary infections.
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Specialty: Endocrinology, Clinical Laboratory, Pulmonology, Gastroenterology