Influence of Age at Diagnosis and Time-Dependent Risk Factors on the Development of Diabetic Retinopathy in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes

J Diabetes Res. 2016;2016:9898309. doi: 10.1155/2016/9898309. Epub 2016 Apr 26.


Aim. To determine the influence of age at onset of type 1 diabetes and of traditional vascular risk factors on the development of diabetic retinopathy, in a cohort of patients who have been followed up after onset. Methods. Observational, retrospective study. The cohort consists of 989 patients who were followed up after diagnosis for a mean of 10.1 (SD: 6.8) years. The influence of age at diagnosis, glycemic control, duration of diabetes, sex, blood pressure, lipids, BMI, and smoking is analyzed using Cox univariate and multivariate models with fixed and time-dependent variables. Results. 135 patients (13.7%) developed diabetic retinopathy. The cumulative incidence was 0.7, 5.9, and 21.8% at 5-, 10-, and 15-year follow-up, respectively. Compared to the group with onset at age <10 years, the risk of retinopathy increased 2.5-, 3-, 3.3-, and 3.7-fold in the groups with onset at 10-14, 15-29, 30-44, and >44 years, respectively. During follow-up we also observed an association between diabetic retinopathy and HbA1c levels, HDL-cholesterol, and diastolic blood pressure. Conclusion. The rate of diabetic retinopathy is higher in patients who were older at type 1 diabetes diagnosis. In addition, we confirmed the influence of glycemic control, HDL-cholesterol, and diastolic blood pressure on the occurrence of retinopathy.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Age of Onset
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diagnosis*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / diagnosis*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult