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May C-peptide index be a new marker to predict proteinuria in anemic patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus?


Objective. C-peptide is a reliable marker of beta cell reserve and is associated with diabetic complications. Furthermore, HbA1c level is associated with micro- and macro-vascular complications in diabetic patients. HbA1c measurement of diabetic patients with anemia may be misleading because HbA1c is calculated in percent by taking reference to hemoglobin measurements. We hypothesized that there may be a relationship between C-peptide index (CPI) and proteinuria in anemic patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the association between C-peptide levels and CPI in anemic patients with T2DM and proteinuria.

Methods. The patients over 18 years of age with T2DM whose C-peptide levels were analyzed in Endocrinology and Internal medicine clinics between 2014 and 2018 with normal kidney functions (GFR>60 ml/min) and who do not use any insulin secretagogue oral antidiabetic agent (i.e. sulfonylurea) were enrolled into the study.

Results. Hemoglobin levels were present in 342 patients with T2DM. Among these 342 cases, 258 (75.4%) were non-anemic whereas 84 (24.6%) were anemic. The median DM duration of the anemic group was statistically significantly higher in T2DM (p=0.003). There was no statistically significant difference found in proteinuria prevalence between non-anemic and anemic patient groups (p=0.690 and p=0.748, respectively). Anemic T2DM cases were corrected according to the age, gender, and duration of DM. C-peptide and CPI levels were not statistically significant to predict proteinuria (p=0.449 and p=0.465, respectively).

Conclusion. The present study sheds light to the association between C-peptide, CPI, and anemic diabetic nephropathy in T2DM patients and indicates that further prospective studies are needed to clarify this issue.