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.
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 :
Sep 26, 2018
If you sign up for Medivizor, you'll receive PERSONALIZED updates that are JUST FOR YOU. Want to give it a try?