• respiratory muscle function;
  • diabetes mellitus;
  • metabolic control;
  • microvascular complications;
  • lung volumes



A restrictive lung function pattern is frequently observed in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) and has been related to respiratory muscle dysfunction in type 1 DM or in mixed population. We aimed to verify whether such a relationship applies also to type 2 DM patients.


The respiratory muscle function was explored in 75 non-smoking patients with type 2 DM without pulmonary or cardiac diseases and compared with that of 40 healthy non-smoking control subjects matched by age and sex. Maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures (MIP, MEP) and maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV), which reflect respiratory muscle strength and endurance, respectively, were measured, and a complete respiratory function assessment was recorded.


Patients were in stable metabolic conditions and had, on average, normal total lung capacity and diffusing lung capacity for carbon monoxide. However, MIP and MVV were significantly reduced in comparison with those of control subjects. Both MIP/MEP and MVV significantly correlated with lung volumes and diffusing lung capacity for carbon monoxide. The multiple regression analysis identified age (beta coefficient = −0.238, p = 0.046), glycated haemoglobin (beta coefficient = −0.245, p = 0.047) and total lung capacity (beta coefficient = 0.430, p = 0.016) as independent correlates of MIP, whereas male sex (beta coefficient = 0.423, p = 0.004) and diabetic complications (beta coefficient = −0.248, p = 0.044) were independent correlates of MVV.


In type 2 DM, respiratory muscle strength was reduced and significantly related to lung volumes and quality of metabolic control, whereas impaired endurance of respiratory muscles prevailed in patients with microvascular complications. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.