To determine serum erythropoietin levels and their relations with cytokines in 30 type 2 diabetic patients and 20 comparable control subjects were enrolled in this study. While the mean age of these type 2 patients was 57.3 that of the control group was 49.3 years. The average duration of illness of the patients was 11.1 years. Serum erythropoietin, interleukin-1, interferon- gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels of these two groups were studied by immunoassay method. The patients were also studied for hematologic and systemic pathology that might lead to anemia. In 16 out of 30 diabetic patients hematocrit level was 38% or below. There was no hematologic or systemic pathology in these patients that might cause anemia. Hematocrit levels were found to be 36% in 3 individuals of the control group. There was a negative correlation between erythropoietin and hematocrit levels of the control group (r= 0.773, p<0.0001). There was no correlation between erythropoietin and hematocrit levels of the diabetics (r= 0.229, p> 0.05). Interleukin-1, interferon- gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels in both patients and control subjects were not statistically different. In conclusion anemia in type 2 patients without any hematologic or systemic pathology may be due to defective erythropoietin synthesis. We found no significant increase in the levels of Interleukin-1, interferon- gamma which play a role in the pathogenesis of anemia of chronic disease.
Keywords: Type 2 diabetes mellitus, erythropoietin, interleukin-1, interferon-gamma , tumor necrosis factor- alpha