Skin thickness is primarily determined by collagen content and is increased in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). We measured skin thickness in 66 IDDM patients aged 24–38 yr and investigated whether it correlated with long-term glycemic control and the presence of certain diabetic complications. With univariate analysis, skin thickness was increased and significantly related to duration of diabetes (P < .001), previous glycemic control (P < .001), retinopathy (P < .001), cheiroarthropathy (P < .001), and vibrationperception threshold (P < .05). There was a negative correlation between forced expiratory volume at 1 s (P < .05) and vital capacity (P < .05) with duration of diabetes. Neither skin thickness nor ankle arteriomedial wall calcification correlated with abnormal autonomic function tests. When corrected for duration of diabetes, there was a weak correlation between skin thickness and glycemic control (P < .05) but no correlation with retinopathy, cheiroarthropathy, and vibration-perception threshold. This study confirms that there are widespread connective tissue changes in diabetes mellitus, although the biochemistry needs further elucidation.
Relationship of Skin Thickness to Duration of Diabetes, Glycemic Control, and Diabetic Complications in Male IDDM Patients
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Andrew Collier, Alan W Patrick, Derek Bell, David M Matthews, Cecilia C A Maclntyre, David J Ewing, Basil F Clarke; Relationship of Skin Thickness to Duration of Diabetes, Glycemic Control, and Diabetic Complications in Male IDDM Patients. Diabetes Care 1 May 1989; 12 (5): 309–312. https://doi.org/10.2337/diacare.12.5.309
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