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Diabetes

Diabetes

10/24/2008

Question:

My husband was recently tested at a Veterans Facility, and he had some results come back high, first his blood sugar was 111 but that was without fasting, then after fasting they did a urine test, his Microalbumin came back 5.7 mg/dL and his Microalb/Creat ration was 52 mg/g, plus his blood pressure was 140/80 and his cholesterol was 205, with low HDL and high triglycerides. There is no history of diabetes in his immediate family, it is a possibility that this could have something to do with Agent Orange. Thank You.

Answer:

Let me start out be saying it is difficult for us to be very informative on "is it possible that...?" questions.  Usually the answer to such questions is "yes, anything is possible" and then we try to address "how probable is it that....?"  I know that the Department of Veterans Affairs has alerted veterans to a possible relationship of exposure to Agent Orange which was used during the Vietnam war to diabetes but I am not certain whether the type of diabetes has been ascertained.  A random blood sugar of 111 mg/dl could be seen either in a person without diabetes or in a person with diabetes and does not discriminate between these very well.  The pattern of low HDL and high triglycerides can be seen in diabetes but is not specific for diabetes.  Unfortunately, the data provided does not allow me to say how probable it is that these findings are related to Agent Orange exposure.

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Response by:

Robert M Cohen, MD Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati