Type 2 Diabetes Linked to Impaired Pulmonary Function

Sarfaroj Khan 


February 23, 2021


  • Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with pulmonary function impairment, independent of sex, smoking status, or worldwide location.

Why this matters

  • Pulmonary function test (PFT) impairment has not been well-studied in people with T2D.

Study design

  • A meta-analysis including 66 studies of 11,134 individuals with T2D and 48,377 control participants without T2D.

  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • Pooled mean differences were as follows:

    • Predicted percentage of FEV1 (41 studies): −7.15 (P<.0001).

    • Predicted percentage of FVC (35 studies): −9.21 (P<.0001).

    • FEV1/FVC ratio (45 studies): −0.27 (P<.69).

    • Forced expiratory flow at 25%-75% of total lung capacity (13 studies): −9.89 (P<.0001).

    • Predicted percentage of peak expiratory flow (15 studies): −9.79 (P<.0001).

  • No differences by sex in 15 studies (P>.25 for all measures).

  • For tobacco use (14 studies included smokers+nonsmokers; 43 nonsmokers only; 9 no smoking data): reductions in lung function measures were greater in studies of nonsmokers than in those that included both (P<.001).

  • Abnormal PFT results observed in those with T2D in all continents.


  • Discrepancies in study selection and quality assessment resolved by consensus.

  • Heterogeneity between studies.

  • Only half of the studies included ≥50 with T2D.

  • Most studies did not report results by sex.


Díez-Manglano J, Asìn Samper U. Pulmonary function tests in type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. ERJ Open Res. 2021;7(1). doi: 10.1183/23120541.00371-2020. PMID: 33569495 View full text  

This clinical summary originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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