Aim: To describe the prevalence of early complications in an unselected population of patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM1) diagnosed in childhood with intensive insulin treatment from diagnosis.
Methods: Eighty children and adolescents with DM1, age 7-22 years and DM1 duration >3 years, were studied. Neuropathy was defined as abnormal nerve conduction finding in > or = 2 of 4 nerves (sural and peroneal nerves), nephropathy as albumin excretion rate > or = 20 microg/min and retinopathy as all grades of retinal changes in fundus photographs.
Results: The prevalence of neuropathy was 59%, of retinopathy 27% and of nephropathy 5% after 13 years DM1 duration. Mean (SD) long-term HbA1c was 8.4 (0.9)% (DCCT-corrected value).
Conclusion: Even in a population with intensive insulin treatment from the beginning and fairly good metabolic control, the prevalence of subclinical neuropathy was high, while other diabetic complications were lower than usually reported.