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Posted by on Oct 10, 2018 in Diabetes mellitus | 0 comments

In a nutshell

The study wanted to find out if severe diabetic retinopathy (damage to the eye caused by diabetes) had any impact on heart and blood vessel disease in patients with type 1 diabetes. The study found that severe diabetic retinopathy was associated with a higher risk of developing heart and blood vessel disease, in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Some background

Diabetes is a condition which causes high sugar in the blood. Over time, this damage large and small blood vessels all over the body. This leads to kidney damage (nephropathy), nerve damage (neuropathy) and eye damage (retiopathy). Due to the blood vessel damage, it is important to research complications of diabetes and their effects on the heart and body.

Methods & findings

This study consisted of 1683 patients, all who had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes for over 30 years. The patients were divided into four groups at the start of the study depending on which kind of disease they had. They were split by if they had nephropathy, retinopathy, both diseases, or neither disease. The patients were followed for approximately 10 years to see if they developed any disease of the heart and blood vessels.

Overall, there were 416 heart and blood vessel disease problems in the patients. Patients with severe diabetic retinopathy were 1.46 times more likely to develop heart and blood vessel disease than those without severe diabetic retinopathy. In particular, patients with severe diabetic retinopathy were almost twice as likely to develop disease of the arteries in the lower legs and feet.

The bottom line

The study concluded that in patients with type 1 diabetes, severe diabetic eye disease is associated with an increased risk of heart and blood vessel disease. This is regardless of if the patient also has diabetic kidney disease (nephropathy).

The fine print

This study was large and well conducted, lots of good results have come from it.

Published By :

Diabetes Care

Date :

Sep 26, 2018

Original Title :

The Association of Severe Diabetic Retinopathy With Cardiovascular Outcomes in Long-standing Type 1 Diabetes: A Longitudinal Follow-up.

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