The purpose of this study was to explore the insulin level in the serum of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients during acute exacerbation (AE).
The study population consisted of 22 acute exacerbation chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) patients, 20 COPD patients and 20 healthy controls. Fasting blood glucose, insulin and serum lipid levels were measured. After the patients recovered from AE, the insulin and glucose levels were also analyzed.
Insulin level, glucose level and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) of AECOPD patients were higher than healthy controls (7.19±6.02 vs 3.28±1.09 μIU/mL, P<0.05, 126.61±50.92 vs 96.21±12.66 mg/dL, P<0.05, 2.66±2.72 vs 0.78±0.26, P<0.05). For stable COPD patients, the insulin level, glucose level and HOMA-IR were 6.52±2.56 μIU/mL, 95.58±11.44 mg/dL, and 1.52±0.53, respectively. The triglyceride (TG) level, total cholesterol (CHOL) level and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-CHOL) level were decreased in AECOPD patients (0.78±0.33 vs 1.05±0.35 mmol/L, P<0.05, 3.88±0.72 vs 4.49±0.7 mmol/L, P<0.05, 2.01±0.59 vs 2.59±0.58 mmol/L, P<0.05). When the patients had recovered from AE, the insulin levels increased (10.67±6.22 vs 7.12±6.19 μIU/mL, P<0.05) and the glucose levels decreased (122.69±41.41 vs 134.08±53.19 mg/dL, P>0.05).
A high insulin level and a high HOMA-IR status in COPD patients were demonstrated. Downregulated levels of insulin during AE compared with the convalescent state were detected, while the variation in the glucose level was not as great as expected, indicating a potentially important role for insulin in AECOPD.