Introduction: Vascular complications play a significant role in the morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes mellitus (DM). Eighty percent of deaths in patients with diabetes are related to thromboembolic complications. Significant alteration in haemostatic indices have been documented in these patients. However, this has not been investigated in our environment.
Objectives: This study aims to evaluate antithrombin activity (AT) in newly diagnosed subjects with diabetes; to determine the prevalence of AT deficiency in them; to test the association between AT deficiency and vascular complications in diabetes and to correlate AT activity with body mass index and haematological indices in the newly diagnosed diabetes subjects.
Methodology: This is a cross sectional study conducted at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar. Sixty newly diagnosed DM subjects were recruited consecutively from the DM Clinic and 54 non diabetic controls were recruited from the general population. Venous blood was collected into citrate specimen container and ethylenediaminetetracetic acid (EDTA) containers for determination of AT activity and haematological indices respectively. AT activity was determined with technoclone chromogenic AT kit and Full Blood Count was analyzed using an automated hematology analyzer. Result was analyzed with the statistical package for social science version 16.
Result: The mean AT activity in newly diagnosed diabetes subjects was significantly lower than in controls (83.3 ± 30.0 vs. 92.8 ± 20.0; P = 0.050). The prevalence of AT deficiency in newly diagnosed DM subjects was 32.3%. AT deficiency was associated with overweight/obesity (BMI >25 kg/m2) and thrombocytopenia (platelet count <150×109 cells/l). Microvascular complication was associated with AT deficiency. There is a statistically significant negative correlation between BMI and AT activity (r = −0.276; P = 0.030).
Conclusion: Antithrombin activity is significantly reduced in newly diagnosed DM subjects and it is associated with microvascular complications.