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Arch Med Res. 1998 Autumn;29(3):259-62.

Risk factors for steroid diabetes in rheumatic patients.

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Departamento de Medicina Interna, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Médico La Raza, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, México, D.F.



Steroid induced diabetes (SDM) has been known for a long time, but its pathophysiological mechanisms as well as its predisposing factors remain unknown.


In order to investigate the different factors related to the development of steroid diabetes (SDM) in patients with rheumatic diseases, we studied 27 patients with SDM, and 27 age- and sex-matched controls who also received therapy with glucocorticoids. In every case, family history of DM, body mass index, associated treatment, steroid dose and treatment duration were studied; fasting serum insulin, "C" peptide, growth hormone and glucagon levels were measured.


All of the patients received prednisone. Cumulated prednisone dose was the only factor significantly associated with the development of SDM. Patients with SDM had a cumulated dose of 26.6 +/- 28 g (M +/- SD), while the control group received 11.6 +/- 11 g (p < 0.02) (odds ratio, 6.35). Serum insulin levels were not significantly different, but insulin/glucose ratio was lower in SDM (0.104 +/- 0.05) than in the control group (0.163 +/- 0.07) (p < 0.05).


These findings suggest that high cumulated prednisone dose may induce DM regardless of another hereditary or personal predisposing factor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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