The altered rheological properties of the blood have been shown to precede clinically detectable diabetic vasculopathy. This study seeks to investigate whether hypoglycaemic treatment would have any impact on some haemorheological markers: haematocrit (Hct), total plasma protein (TPP) and relative plasma viscosity (RPV). We studied fifty normotensive diabetic patients that were on insulin, metformin or glibenclamide treatment and 25 non-diabetic subjects matched by age, sex and body mass index (BMI). Results showed that age, BMI, haematocrit, systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were similar among all groups. Fasting blood sugar (FBS) which was significantly higher (p< 0.05) in the three groups of diabetic patients when compared to that of the non-diabetic control group. The mean TPP and RPV were significantly elevated (p< 0.05 and p< 0.01 respectively) in all the diabetic groups than that observed in non-diabetic control group. In diabetic patients, FBS significantly correlated positively with RPV in either sex while weak positive correlation was found between FBS and RPV in non-diabetics. These results have shown that hyperglycaemia is associated with elevated plasma viscosity and plasma protein levels in diabetic patients. This finding suggests that treatment with insulin, metformin or glibenclamide does not impact beneficial effects on plasma rheology. In addition, the results imply that hyperglycaemia mediates hyperviscous plasma that may exert risk factor for the initiation and/or progression of diabetic vasculopathy. Hence, it may be necessary to use rheomodulators in the management of diabetes mellitus.
Due to technical difficulties, this article is available in PDF format only. Some problems exist within the article. Bioline has contacted the publisher and will update the PDF file with a corrected version as soon as possible.