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Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2002 Aug;15(4):232-9.

Glycaemic control and microvascular complications in a large cohort of Italian Type 1 diabetic out-patients.

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  • 1Diabetes Unit, A.O. Ospedali Riuniti, Bergamo, Italy.


The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the degree of metabolic control, the prevalence of microvascular complications (nephropathy, retinopathy, and peripheral neuropathy) and their association with risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in all adult Type 1 diabetic out-patients attending 2 Diabetes Clinics of Northern Italy over 12 months. A total of 458 patients (mean age 37 +/- 12 yr, duration of diabetes 15.3 +/- 10.6 yr, BMI 23.2 +/- 3.1 kg/m2) were studied. Clinical characteristics and microvascular complications were evaluated. The proportion of patients with a good glycaemic control (HbA1c < 7%) was 14.7%. Nephropathy was observed in 24.4%, retinopathy in 41%, peripheral neuropathy in 23.7%. The prevalence of hypertension was 30.3%. Microvascular complications were associated with age, duration of diabetes, systolic blood pressure, creatinine, triglycerides and cholesterol plasma levels. Mean HbA1c was 8.5 +/- 1.6. Patients with HbA1c levels < 7% presented a lower prevalence of complications and lower levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure than patients with HbA1c > 9%. Our study indicates that an acceptable metabolic control is achieved in a too low proportion of Type 1 diabetic patients, even under multiple insulin injections. The association of poor metabolic control and microalbuminuria identifies a group of patients at higher risk of diabetic complications.

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