September 14, 2005

Outlook poor for diabetic women with CF

By David Douglas

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women with cystic fibrosis (CF)
and diabetes have "a remarkably poor prognosis" compared to
women with CF but without diabetes, and to all men with CF,
according to a new report.

"Our study," lead investigator Dr. Carlos E. Milla told
Reuters Health, "shows that although the predicted probability
of survival for patients with CF has improved dramatically,
development of diabetes negatively affects disease

"Further, we find that it is only within females that this
effect seems to be of significance, and in great part explains
the gender differential in survival that we observe in our
patient population."

Dr. Milla and colleagues from the University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, reviewed data on 1081 individuals with CF who had
been seen at their institution over a 5-year period. The
researchers identified 123 individuals with CF-related
diabetes. Of these, 58 were men.

Average survival for men without diabetes was 49.5 years
and for those with diabetes, it was 47.4 years.

For women without diabetes, survival was 47.0 years.
However, in women with diabetes, survival was markedly lower --
just 30.7 years.

"The reasons for this effect are not entirely clear from
our studies," Milla acknowledged, "but it is intuitive to
presume that they are probably related to hormonal

"Our current research," he concluded, "is focused on trying
to better define this possible interaction with a goal of
identifying potential effective interventions."

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, September 2005.