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Diabetes Metab. 2004 Jun;30(3):229-33.

Pre-pubertal onset of type 1 diabetes and appearance of retinopathy.

Author information

1
Centro Retinopatia Diabetica, Dept. of Internal Medicine, University of Turin, corso AM Dogliotti 14, I-10126 Turin, Italy. massimo.porta@unito.it

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

It was suggested that the years of diabetes preceding puberty may not contribute to the development of retinopathy but evidence for this is conflicting. To verify the influence of pre-pubertal diabetes, we compared the correlations between prevalence of retinopathy and diabetes duration in patients who developed type 1 diabetes before and after puberty.

METHODS:

Six hundred and twenty-eight patients with diabetes onset at age< or =29, on insulin treatment and aged< or =60 at the time of screening for retinopathy were considered retrospectively. Pre-pubertal age was defined as 0-12 in males and 0-11 in females. Two hundred patients had developed diabetes before puberty and 428 after puberty. Screening was by ophthalmoscopy + 35 mm photography or digital photography.

RESULTS:

Prevalence of retinopathy was lower among patients with pre-pubertal onset and diabetes durations 10-14 and 15-19 years (p=0.006 and p=0.003, respectively) but prevalence rates became similar after 20 yrs duration.

CONCLUSION:

That retinopathy is infrequent and mild during childhood, is probably due to the short duration of diabetes rather than a specific protective effect of pre-puberty. After 20 years' duration, however, the prevalence of retinopathy is no longer influenced by age at onset, suggesting that, in the longer term, pre-pubertal years do contribute to the onset of retinopathy.

PMID:
15223974
DOI:
10.1016/s1262-3636(07)70113-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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