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J Vet Intern Med. 2003 Jul-Aug;17(4):489-94.

Association between diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism or hyperadrenocorticism, and atherosclerosis in dogs.

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Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010, USA.


The objective of this study was to determine whether dogs with atherosclerosis are more likely to have concurrent diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, or hyperadrenocorticism than dogs that do not have atherosclerosis. A retrospective mortality prevalence case-control study was performed. The study group included 30 dogs with histopathological evidence of atherosclerosis. The control group included 142 dogs with results of a complete postmortem examination, a final postmortem examination diagnosis of neoplasia, and no histopathological evidence of atherosclerosis. Control dogs were frequency matched for age and year in which the postmortem examination was performed. Proportionate changes in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, and hyperadrenocorticism were calculated by exact prevalence odds ratios (POR), 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), and P values. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to examine the combined effects of prevalence determinants while controlling for age and year of postmortem examination. Dogs with atherosclerosis were over 53 times more likely to have concurrent diabetes mellitus than dogs without atherosclerosis (POR = 53.6; 95% CI, 4.6-627.5; P = .002) and over 51 times more likely to have concurrent hypothyroidism than dogs without atherosclerosis (POR = 51.1; 95% CI, 14.5-180.1; P < .001). Dogs with atherosclerosis were not found to be more likely to have concurrent hyperadrenocorticism than dogs that did not have atherosclerosis (POR = 1.8; 95% CI, 0.2-17.6; P = .59). Diabetes mellitus and hypothyroidism, but not hyperadrenocorticism, are more prevalent in dogs with atherosclerosis compared to dogs without atherosclerosis on postmortem examination.

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