Diabetes-related Clinical Complications: Novel Approaches

Metabolic diseases such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and vascular diseases have reached epidemic proportions worldwide. In the past four decades, childhood and adolescent obesity has increased four-fold worldwide. During the same period, obesity in adults has doubled and diabetes has increased by four-fold. In China, India, and the USA, the number of prediabetes is more than diabetics.

This population is at considerable risk for developing diabetes, its clinical complications, and acute vascular events. The management of modifiable risks for cardiometabolic risks has improved considerably. Several major studies have demonstrated, that robust management of modifiable risks for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), significantly reduces premature mortality from CVDs. Considering the progress made in the risk assessment, risk management, we feel strongly, that not much progress is made in the areas of primary prevention and early risk assessment, for clinical complications associated with metabolic diseases, in particular, diabetes.

The majority of the clinical complications associated with diabetes are due to dysfunction of the vascular system or nervous system. Complications include vasculopathy leading to subclinical atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke. Other clinical complications include peripheral artery disease, and peripheral neuropathy, the leading cause of functional impairments of the two lower extremities, hands, and limbs. Apart from these complications, uncontrolled diabetes leads to dysfunctional kidneys and ultimately end-stage renal disease and kidney failure. Vascular dysfunction in diabetes also leads to glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Prestigious Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota, has listed following conditions as clinical complications associated with diabetes: Nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage (nephropathy), eye damage (retinopathy), foot and limb damage, skin conditions, hearing impairment, and Alzheimers disease. In this overview, we have discussed some of these issues as well as described available non-invasive technologies for the early detection of clinical complications related to diabetes.

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