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The prevalence of diabetes in a series of patients with subglottic stenosis

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November 1, 2007
by Sandra L. Ettema, MD, PhD, Todd A. Loerhl, MD, Robert J. Toohill, MD, and Albert L. Merati, MD


Diabetes, which is present in 4 to 8% of adults in the United States, is a risk factor for surgical failure in laryngotracheal airway operations. We conducted a retrospective study to characterize a population of patients with subglottic stenosis—including the prevalence of diabetes, which has not been widely reported. We performed a retrospective chart review of 30 patients—22 women and 8 men, aged 17 to 77 years (mean: 47.5)—with subglottic stenosis who had presented to our facility between July 2001 and June 2004. Diabetes was present in 5 patients (16.7%); the prevalence of diabetes in our study was not significantly different from regional population-adjusted norms (8%). Although higher-grade stenosis was significantly more common in the diabetic patients than in the nondiabetic patients (p < 0.05), we were unable to conclude that diabetes plays an independent role in the development of subglottic stenosis. We intend to conduct a meta-analysis to assess the role that diabetes plays as both a risk factor for and an obstacle to the treatment of airway stenosis.

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