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Diabetes Care. 2011 Sep;34(9):2005-7. doi: 10.2337/dc10-2391.

Decline in the cumulative incidence of severe diabetic retinopathy in patients with type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine if the cumulative incidence of severe retinopathy in patients with type 1 diabetes has changed.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

The study looked at 3,781 patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (1939-2005), median age at onset 13 (interquartile range [IQR] 9-21) years, and duration of diabetes 19 (IQR 13-27) years. The severe retinopathy was based on a history of laser treatment. Patients were divided into <1975, 1975-1979, 1980-1984, and ≥1985 cohorts according to the diagnosis of diabetes.

RESULTS:

The cumulative incidence of severe retinopathy has declined (P < 0.0001). After 20 years of duration, the cumulative incidence was 23% (95% CI 21-25) and 33 (30-35) in the earliest cohorts, 18 (15-21) in the next cohort, and 6 (4-9) in the recent cohort. After 30 years, the cumulative incidence was 52 and 48% in the earliest cohorts, while it was 62% after 40 years in the earliest cohort.

CONCLUSIONS:

The cumulative incidence of severe retinopathy has declined in patients with type 1 diabetes.

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