Increased accumulation of skin advanced glycation end products is associated with microvascular complications in type 1 diabetes

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2011 Aug;13(8):837-42. doi: 10.1089/dia.2011.0043. Epub 2011 May 13.


Background: Skin autofluorescence (AF) measured with an AF reader device is a noninvasive tool to measure the tissue accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The aim of the study was to assess the association between AF and microvascular complications in type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM1).

Methods: The study population consisted of 140 DM1 patients, 28 years old (interquartile range [IQR], 23-35), 76 of whom were women, with disease duration of 13 years (IQR, 8-19). We used the AGE Reader (DiagnOptics, Groningen, The Netherlands) to measure the AF phenomenon, which occurs because of fluorescent properties of AGEs. The patients were divided according to the presence or absence of diabetes-associated microvascular complications: retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy and any microangiopathy.

Results: The median AF was 2.0 (IQR, 1.7-2.4). In the univariate logistic regression AF was significantly associated with retinopathy (odds ratio [OR] 2.47, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26-4.84, P = 0.008), nephropathy (OR 3.15, 95% CI 1.34-7.39, P = 0.008), neuropathy (OR 3.17, 95% CI 1.46-6.90, P = 0.003), and any microvascular complication (OR 2.94, 95% CI 1.46-5.92, P = 0.002). Multivariate logistic regression showed that skin AF was independently associated only with diabetic neuropathy (OR 2.98, 95% CI 0.99-8.90, P = 0.05).

Conclusions: The tissue accumulation of AGE is significantly associated with microvascular complications in DM1.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Complications / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fluorescence
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / analysis
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • Glycation End Products, Advanced