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Abstract : Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a worldwide metabolic disease. Type 2 DM is usually associated with several complications like coronary artery disease, hypertension and dyslipidemia. Atherosclerosis which is considered as a part of macrovascular complications of diabetic patients, is thought to be happened as a result of vascular infiltration of monocytes and lymphocytes with adhesion molecules. These adhesion molecules including VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 which act as atherosclerosis markers and can be isolated from the endothelium and measured in peripheral blood. In addition, it was found that insulin resistance may play a role in endothelial dysfunction where insulin stimulates the release of the adhesion molecules (VCAM-1 and ICAM-1). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of diabetes mellitus and the safety of anti-hyperglycemic medications on the cardiovascular function in diabetic patients and compare it with the healthy individuals by measuring VCAM-1. About 58 male and female diabetic patients were enrolled in this study (30 patients were already receiving anti-diabetic medications and the 28 patients were just newly diagnosed as DM patients and not yet received treatments), in addition to 30 individuals as healthy control group. The patients' samples were collected from the National Diabetic Center/Al-Mustansiriyah University at the period between March/2017 and May/2017. The mean age for all groups was nearly the same, it was about (52.02 ± 0.81) and the mean BMI for all groups was about (28.77 ± 0.34). Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), insulin, fasting blood glucose (FBG) and HbA1c were all measured for all the three groups. Insulin and VCAM-1 were measured using ELISA technique. In the present study, it was found that there was a high significant difference in the mean VCAM-1 seen in the control group (22.27 ± 0.94) compared with that seen in the newly diagnosed DM patients (18.95 ± 0.58) where (P=0.01), with no significant difference when compared with the mean of already DM patients group receiving treatments (21.08 ± 0.72) besides no significant statistical relationship between means of VCAM-1 of the two DM groups. VCAM-1 showed a negative significant correlation with insulin (P=0.05). From this study, it was observed that VCAM-1 was within normal level when compared with that of healthy control or even below the normal which means that DM is not necessarily associated with increased risk of endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis and this dysfunction might be related with some other factors like genes, environmental conditions or other underlying disease states.

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