New research by scientists in France has shown that people who suffer from higher levels of blood glucose in the body and ineffective control of those levels over time are at a greater risk of developing eye-related complications up to a decade later.
The study, carried out at the Data from an Epidemiological Study on the Insulin Resistance Syndrome (DESIR) Study Group and published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, monitored the retinas of 700 patients with an average age of 52. For nine years the researchers tracked their fasting plasma glucose levels and hemoglobin A1C .
Over the course of the study, 235 people had diabetes, 227 had an impaired fasting plasma glucose level and 238 always had glucose levels within normal limits.
In addition, 44 were classified as having retinopathy, including 19 with diabetes, 19 with impaired fasting glucose levels and six with normal glucose levels. Those people who had retinopathy had higher average levels of fasting plasma glucose 10 years prior and higher HbA1c than those who did not suffer from the condition.
The report stated that “Levels of HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose at baseline were related to the presence of retinopathy 10 years later, and the levels at which the positive predictive values increased provide a rationale for the choice of thresholds for the definition of hyperglycemia associated with 10-year retinopathy.”

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