The Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy. A comparison of retinopathy in younger and older onset diabetic persons

Adv Exp Med Biol. 1985;189:321-35. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4757-1850-8_18.


In a population-based survey of diabetic persons, retinopathy was detected by stereoscopic color fundus photography in 70% of persons under 30 years of age at diagnosis and taking insulin (Group YO), in 62% of persons 30 years of age or older at diagnosis and taking insulin (Group OO-I) and in 36% of persons 30 years of age or older at diagnosis not taking insulin (Group OO-N). The mean duration of known diabetes was 14.6 years in Group YO, 11.0 years in Group OO-I and 6.9 years in Group OO-N. After 20 years of diabetes, proliferative retinopathy was present in about 50% of Group YO, about 25% of Group OO-I and about 5% of Group OO-N. After 15 years of diabetes, macular edema was present in about 18% of Group YO, about 20% of Group OO-I and about 12% of Group OO-N. When present, macular edema tended to be associated with more hard exudate in Group OO-N.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / classification
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / diagnosis
  • Macular Degeneration / etiology
  • Risk
  • Wisconsin