Diabetes is characterized by absolute or relative insulin deficiency complicated with microangiopathy, whereas obesity stems from insulin resistance. A psychosomatic approach to obesity and diabetes has been highlighted, including the brain-oriented obesity control system (BOOCS). Impaired deformability of erythrocytes in obese or diabetic patients is closely linked to disturbed microcirculation, and improvement of abnormal erythrocyte rheology is a prerequisite for the prevention and treatment of microangiopathy. Therefore, erythrocyte filterability, whole cell deformability defined as flow rate of erythrocyte suspension relative to that of saline, was assessed by the nickel-mesh-filtration technique. Subjects included healthy controls (group A, n = 14), diabetic, nonobese participants (group B, n = 29), and non-diabetic, obese participants (group C, n = 32) in the 6-month BOOCS program, and most patients in groups B and C (86.9 %) completed this program. Baseline mean erythrocyte filterabilities were 89.4 ± 1.7 % in group A, 82.8 ± 5.2 % in group B, and 84.1 ± 5.6 % in group C, showing significant intergroup differences (p<0.001). This program significantly improved (p<0.001) the impaired erythrocyte filterability in groups B (87.9 ± 4.4 %) and C (88.5 ± 3.7 %). Declines in HbA1c (p = 0.387) and body mass index (p = 0.479) were not correlated to this improvement. These findings indicate that the mechanisms of BOOCS-induced improvement of diabetic or obese patients' erythrocyte deformability are multifactorial, and that the BOOCS program for these patients is a holistic, cost-effective, and highly compliant approach possibly ameliorating microcirculation.
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