Cystic fibrosis patients suffer recurrent episodes of infection and inflammation that slowly destroy the lungs. The pancreas is also affected, interfering with proper digestion. This University of Florida study sheds some light on the associated complications of diabetes.
University of Florida
Melanie Fridl Ross, 7/5/2006
A growing number of cystic fibrosis patients are battling a second, often deadly complication: a unique form of diabetes that shares characteristics of the type 1 and type 2 versions that strike many Americans.
Many of these patients are teens who take enzymes to help digest their food and undergo daily physical therapy to loosen the thick, sticky mucus that clogs their lungs. But despite treatments that are helping thousands to live decades longer than ever before, when diabetes strikes, their life expectancy plummets - on average by two years for men and an astounding 16 for women.
Now a University of Florida study in animals suggests diabetes in cystic fibrosis patients is not caused by the destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas - as is often the case in patients with the traditional form of type 1 diabetes - but by differences in how these cells function.
The findings were published this month in the American Diabetes Association's journal Diabetes..full news release