The association of lifetime psychiatric illness and increased retinopathy in patients with type I diabetes mellitus

Psychosomatics. Mar-Apr 1997;38(2):98-108. doi: 10.1016/S0033-3182(97)71477-4.


Forty-nine patients with Type I diabetes mellitus were assessed to examine the relationship between lifetime prevalence of psychiatric illness and retinopathy severity. The subjects with a history of psychiatric illness had significantly worse retinopathy than the subjects without psychiatric illness. Eighty-nine percent of the subjects with severe nonproliferative retinopathy or proliferative retinopathy had a history of psychiatric illness, predominantly affective illness. In addition, the subjects with a history of psychiatric illness had significantly higher current glycohemoglobin levels than those with no psychiatric history. This study's findings suggest that psychiatric illness may be a risk factor for development of retinopathy in Type I diabetic patients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Sick Role