Blood viscosity in young male diabetics with and without retinopathy

G. D. O. Lowe, J. M. Lowe, M. M. Drummond, S. Reith, J. J. F. Belch, C. M. Kesson, A. Wylie, W. S. Foulds, C. D. Forbes, A. C. MacCuish, W. G. Manderson

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    Abstract

    Blood viscosity (shear rates 100s-1 and 0.94s-1) and several of its major determinants (haematocrit, plasma fibrinogen and plasma viscosity) have been measured in 38 male insulin-treated diabetics, aged 18-50 years, and in 38 non-diabetic control subjects matched for age and smoking habit. Diabetics without fundoscopic retinopathy (n=20) had higher mean blood viscosity than controls at the high shear rate (7.07 cP vs 6.75 cP, p <0.05) and the low shear rate (21.2 cP vs 18.7 cP, p <0.025). These differences persisted after correction of blood viscosity to a standard haematocrit, and were associated with increased plasma viscosity (1.41 cP vs 1.34 cP, p <0.025) and plasma fibrinogen (2.9 g/L vs. 2.5 g/L, p <0.025). Diabetics with retinopathy (n = 18) had higher mean blood viscosity than diabetics without retinopathy at the high shear rate (7.53 cP vs 7.07 cP, p <0.05) and the low shear rate (24.3 cP vs. 21.2 cP, p <0.05), associated with a higher haematocrit (p <0.05). Blood viscosity and haematocrit correlated with the duration of diabetes (r > 0.32, p <0.05).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)359-363
    Number of pages5
    JournalDiabetologia
    Volume18
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1980

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