Blindness and Frequency of Vitrectomy in Young Danish Type 1 Diabetic Patients. A 15-year follow-up.

Rebecca Broe, Birthe Susanne Olsen, Jakob Grauslund, Philip Hougaard, Anne Katrin Sjølie

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearch


Design of study:
Cohort study.

To investigate the prevalence of blindness and frequency of vitrectomy in a nationwide Danish cohort of young type 1 diabetic patients.

In 1986-89 a cohort of 80% of all Danish type 1 diabetic patients below the age of 18 (n=720) was identified. In 1995, 324 patients from the original cohort participated in a clinical examination including retinal photography. In 2010, patients registered as blind by the Danish Society for the Blind were identified. Furthermore, data from the Danish National Patient Registry was used to determine the number of patients who had undergone vitrectomy and the date of their first surgery. Results were correlated to age, gender, diabetes duration and HbA1c.

Of the 324 patients examined in 1995, 6 have been registered as blind (4 males and 2 females), 5 were between 21 and 29 years old at registration. They had all had vitrectomy performed and mean HbA1c in 1995 was 10.8 ± 1.3%.
Thirty seven patients (11%) have undergone vitrectomy. At the time of their first surgery the mean age of patiens was 29.5 ± 4.9 years and the mean duration of DM was 22.7 ± 4.9 years. The rate of male patients were significantly higher among the vitrectomized patients (65%) than among the non-vitrectomized (53%, p<0.05). There was no difference according to age or duration of diabetes between the two groups.
For the vitrectomized patients, mean HbA1c in 1995 was 11.1 ± 1.9% compared to the remaining patients (mean HbA1c 9.9 ± 6.8 %, p<0.05).

One in ten patients had undergone vitrectomy in a 15-year follow-up of a population-based cohort of Danish type 1 diabetic patients. The mean age at the time of surgery was less than 30 years.
Our results indicate that high levels of HbA1c in childhood and adolescence, as well as male gender, increase the risk of severe diabetic retinopathy, causing need of vitrectomy and blindness at a very young age.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date14. May 2011
Publication statusPublished - 14. May 2011
Event21st Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes
Eye Complications Study Group 2011
- Gdansk, Poland
Duration: 13. May 201115. May 2011
Conference number: 21


Conference21st Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes
Eye Complications Study Group 2011

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