Introduction: In India most diabetic patients are not investigated for anemia until appearance of clinical features of renal involvement. Also   reports on relationship of duration of diabetes on the occurrence of anemia are scarce.  The aims of this study were to compare the occurrence of anemia in diabetics without overt features of renal pathology with non-diabetics and to analyze the effect of duration of diabetes on severity of anemia.

Methods: Total 398 subjects with 205 diabetics (125 males and 80 females)   and   193 (113 males and 80 females) non diabetics with controlled blood glucose, normal urea, creatinine reports, with or without hypertension were included.  Duration of diabetes was noted. Haemoglobin was estimated by cyanmethemoglobin method.

Results: The frequency of occurrence of anemia was 46 % and 52.5 % in diabetic males and females respectively. Hemoglobin levels in males were 12.6 and 13.8 g/dl (p=<0.001) whereas in females 11.6 and 11.9g/dl in diabetics and nondiabetics respectively (p>0.05). The earliest duration of diabetes which could affect hemoglobin significantly was 4 years in males and 8 years in females.

Conclusion: Screening for anemia in diabetics at least after 4 years of diabetes   even without clinical features of renal insufficiency may improve the quality of life and   moderate the progression of microvascular complications.

Key words: Diabetes; Anemia; Duration; Occurrence; India  
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