Type 1 diabetes complications: no change

Tue, 09 May 2006
Worrying information from a US-based study this week reveals that the occurrence of some of the serious complications associated with type 1 diabetes has not diminished in the last 30 years, including heart disease and retinal damage.

The study analysed data from under 1000 participants in research entitled the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Childhood-Onset Diabetes Complications Study. The data covered several generations. Some complications, as illustrated in the study, fell substantially in rate (premature death, kidney failure, nerve damage.) The surprise came when experts found that changes to kidney disease and retinal damage were minimal. Coronary artery disease levels were also found to hold steady.

One expert in the study was reported as saying: "Doctors have long considered type 1 diabetes a small blood vessel problem, so they have traditionally not focused on the potential large blood vessel complications, such as cardiovascular disease. However, our study suggests that doctors and their patients need to pay more attention to factors that affect the larger blood vessels, such as lipids and blood pressure."

According to the same expert, the study raises important points about the treatment variations between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. As she highlighted, the two are separate conditions and should be treated as such.
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