According to a recent study of participants involved in the Diabetes Prevention Program, as many as 8 per cent of pre-diabetic people could also be suffering from diabetic retinopathy.
The DPP studies over 3,000 people suffering from IGT (Impaired Glucose Tolerance), also known as pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Pre-diabetes occurs when an individual’s blood glucose levels exceeds normal levels, but doesn’t get high enough to be classified as diabetic . Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes, and can eventually lead to blindness .
The vice chairman of the DPP, Dr. Richard Hamma, reportedly commented: “Previous studies have not accurately defined when type 2 diabetes begins, so our understanding of the onset of diabetic eye disease has been limited. Now we know that diabetic retinopathy does occur in pre-diabetes, within an average of three years after diagnosis. This adds to our understanding of the development of retinopathy and suggests that changes in the eye may be starting earlier and at lower glucose levels than we previously thought.”

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