Table of Contents
ISRN Endocrinology
Volume 2012, Article ID 910905, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Steroid-Induced Diabetes: Is It Just Unmasking of Type 2 Diabetes?

1Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Level 6, West Wing, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia
2Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, D06, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Received 6 March 2012; Accepted 29 April 2012

Academic Editors: G. Garruti and G. F. Wagner

Copyright © 2012 Lisa R. Simmons et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aims. We compared the demographic profile and clinical characteristics of individuals with new onset steroid-induced diabetes (NOSID) to Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) patients with and without steroid treatment. Methods. The demographic profile and clinical characteristics of 60 individuals who developed NOSID were examined and matched to 60 type 2 diabetes patients receiving steroid therapy (T2DM+S) and 360 diabetic patients not on steroids (T2DM) for age, duration of diabetes, HbA1c, gender, and ethnicity. Results. Patients who developed NOSID had less family history of diabetes ( 𝑃 ≀ 0 . 0 5 ) and were less overweight ( 𝑃 ≀ 0 . 0 2 ). NOSID was more commonly treated with insulin. Despite a matching duration of diabetes and glycaemic control, significantly less retinopathy was found in the group of patients with NOSID ( 𝑃 < 0 . 0 3 ). Conclusions. It appears that steroid treatment primarily precipitated diabetes in a group of individuals otherwise less affected by risk factors of diabetes at that point in time, rather than just opportunistically unmasking preexisting diabetes. Furthermore, the absence of retinopathy suggests that patients with NOSID had not been exposed to long periods of hyperglycaemia. However, the impact of the underlying conditions necessitating steroid treatment and concomitant medications such as immunosuppressants on diabetes development remain to be defined.