Assessment of white blood cell distribution as a prognostic factor in type 2 diabetes mellitus and its complications - literature overview

Joanna Szydełko, Magdalena Szydełko, Agnieszka Szymczyk, Monika Podhorecka


Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) mellitus is the chronic, low-grade inflammatory disorder, which is considered to be the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Wherefore, it is indispensable to look for new, non-invasive and widely available markers that will allow for early detection of predisposition to the development of diabetes as well as its macro- and microvascular complications.
Aim of the study:
The aim of our study was to present the role of white blood cells (WBC) count as a prognostic factor in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Moreover, we discussed the perspectives for the usefulness of WBC subtypes and neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) as a marker of glycemic control as well as an indicator of the risk of developing diabetes complications.
Description of knowledge:
The abundant number of previous studies revealed that the elevated level of total WBC count strongly correlates with the predisposition to prediabetes and T2DM development. There is also association between the insulin resistance as well as the function and mass of beta-cells. The numerous research confirm that the increase in NLR may be the useful laboratory tool to evaluate the glycemic control and the effectiveness of antidiabetic treatment. NLR ratio as a marker, which directly reflects the level of inflammation is considered to indicate the risk of development of cardiovascular complications, diabetic peripheral neuropathy or nephropathy, even in the early stage of T2DM duration.
Measurements of WBC count and changes in the number of subpopulations of them seem to be a useful, widely accessible marker of development of T2DM as well as its complications and may be helpful in management of T2DM patients.


diabetes mellitus type 2, white blood cells, prognostic factors

Full Text:



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