A case-control study of osteopathic palpatory findings in type 2 diabetes mellitus

John C. Licciardone, Kimberly G. Fulda, Scott T. Stoll, Russell G. Gamber, A. Clifton Cage

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18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Although type 2 diabetes mellitus is often managed by osteopathic physicians, osteopathic palpatory findings in this disease have not been adequately studied. Methods: A case-control study was used to measure the association between type 2 diabetes mellitus and a series of 30 osteopathic palpatory findings. The latter included skin changes, trophic changes, tissue changes, tenderness, and immobility at spinal segmental levels T5-T7, T8-T10, and T11-L2 bilaterally. Logistic regression models that adjusted for age, sex, and comorbid conditions were used to compute odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between type 2 diabetes mellitus and each of these findings. Results and discussion: A total of 92 subjects were included in the study. After controlling for age, sex, hypertension, and clinical depression, the only significant finding was an association between type 2 diabetes mellitus and tissue changes at T11-L2 on the right side (OR, 5.54; 95% CI, 1.76-17.47; P = .003). Subgroup analyses of subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension demonstrated significant associations with tissue changes at T11-L2 bilaterally (OR, 27.38; 95% CI, 1.75-428; P = .02 for the left side and OR, 24.00; 95% CI, 1.51-382; P = .02 for the right side). Among subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension, there was also a strong diabetes mellitus duration effect for tissue changes at T11-L2 bilaterally (OR, 12.00; 95% CI, 1.02-141; P = .05 for short duration vs. OR, 32.00; 95% CI, 2.29-448; P = .01 for long duration on the left side; and OR, 17.33; 95% CI, 1.39-217; P = .03 for short duration vs. OR, 32.00; 95% CI, 2.29-448; P = .01 for long duration on the right side). Conclusion: The only consistent finding in this study was an association between type 2 diabetes mellitus and tissue changes at T11-L2 on the right side. Potential explanations for this finding include reflex viscerosomatic changes directly related to the progression of type 2 diabetes mellitus, a spurious association attributable to confounding visceral diseases, or a chance observation unrelated to type 2 diabetes mellitus. Larger prospective studies are needed to better study osteopathic palpatory findings in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalOsteopathic Medicine and Primary Care
Volume1
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Feb 2007

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