There have been a number of reports on pancreatic exocrine dysfunction in diabetes mellitus.
The measurement of fecal elastase 1 concentrations (FEC) has been used as a screening tool for exocrine pancreatic disease in diabetic populations.
In this study, doctors from Germany studied pancreatic exocrine dysfunction in over 1000 diabetic patients.
|Fecal elastase 1 concentrations were severely reduced in 23%.|
The team measured FEC in 323 patients with type 1 and 697 type 2 diabetes mellitus, using ELISA. Any subjects with a history of alcohol abuse, gastrointestinal surgery, cancer or inflammatory diseases were not included.
Diabetes history and clinical data were recorded using a standard case report form.
The team found that FEC was normal in 59% and severely reduced in 23%.
They also identified differences between type 1 and type 2 patients, as well as between insulin-treated and non-insulin-treated patients.
Furthermore, there were weak associations between FEC and diabetes duration, age at onset of diabetes and body mass index, respectively.
Dr Philip Hardta's team concluded, "We could confirm that both type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients show pathological exocrine function in high prevalence".
"Exocrine insufficiency seems to be correlated to early onset of endocrine failure, long-lasting diabetes mellitus and low body mass index levels".