Red blood cell count as an indicator of microvascular complications in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus
Zhan-Sheng Wang,1,2 Zhan-Chun Song,1 Jing-Hui Bai,1 Fei Li,3 Tao Wu,1 Ji Qi,2 Jian Hu1
1Department of Cardiology, First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, 2Second Department of Cardiology, Fourth People's Hospital of Shenyang, Shenyang, 3Department of Cardiology, Shenzhou Hospital of Shenyang Medical College, Shenyang, People's Republic of China
Background: Rheological disorders of red blood cells (RBC) and decreased RBC deformability have been involved in the development of diabetic microangiopathy. However, few studies have evaluated the association of RBC count with microvascular complications in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The purpose of this study was to investigate the association of RBC count with microvascular complications in patients with T2DM.
Methods: This study involved 369 patients with T2DM: 243 with one or more microvascular complications and 126 without microvascular complications. Anticoagulated blood was collected and analyzed in an automated blood cell counter. The presence of risk factors for microvascular complications was determined.
Results: The proportion of patients with microvascular complications increased as the RBC count decreased (P < 0.001). After adjustment for known risk factors for microvascular complications by logistic regression analysis, lower quartiles of RBC count were associated with a higher risk of microvascular complications compared with the reference group composed of the highest quartile (first quartile, odds ratio 4.98, 95% confidence interval 1.54–6.19, P = 0.008; second quartile, odds ratio 3.21, 95% confidence interval 1.17–5.28, P = 0.024).
Conclusion: A decreased RBC count is associated with microvascular complications in Chinese patients with T2DM. The RBC count is a potential marker to improve further the ability to identify diabetic patients at high risk of microvascular complications.
Keywords: red blood cell count, microvascular complication, type 2 diabetes mellitus
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