The role of pre-morbid diabetes on developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

author: Fabrizio D’Ovidio, Department of Neurosciences "Rita Levi Montalcini", University of Turin
published: July 21, 2017,   recorded: May 2017,   views: 846


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Background: The literature on the association between diabetes and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) produced contrasting results. This study was developed in order to assess the role of diabetes on the risk of developing ALS. Methods: The study population was represented by all residents in Turin (Italy) at the beginning of 1996, already present at 1991 Census, older than 14 years (n=727,977), followed up for diabetes and ALS occurrence from 1998 to 2014. Presence of diabetes was ascertained through two Piedmont regional sources: the Diabetes Registry and the ATC Drugs Prescriptions Archive. The risk of ALS was estimated using the Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta ALS Registry (PARALS). The association of diabetes, treated as a time-dependent variable, with ALS onset was estimated through Cox proportional hazard regression models adjusted for age, gender, education and marital status: Results: During the follow-up, 397 subjects developed ALS, 20 of whom were already diabetics before ALS onset. Diabetes identified through the Diabetes Registry or drugs prescriptions more than one year before ALS onset significantly decreased the risk of ALS (HR=0.26; 95% CI: 0.17-0.42). Conclusions: The study results support a protective role of diabetes toward ALS.

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