Excessive body weight is increasingly seen in type 1 diabetes but its impact is debated. To address this uncertainty, we aimed to determine the association between excess body weight and the macro- and microvascular complications of type 1 diabetes. We identified 501 adults with type 1 diabetes attending an Australian hospital clinic and extracted their clinical and biochemical data from our patient management database. In both men and women, obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m(2)) was the predominant risk factor for retinopathy and cardiovascular disease despite similar HbA1c and increased use of cardioprotective drugs compared to non-obese patients. Obesity was associated with albuminuria in women, but not renal impairment or neuropathy in either sex. We conclude that obesity in type 1 diabetes may promote retinopathy and macrovascular disease. Future trials to determine the effect of weight loss on type 1 diabetes in obese people are needed.
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