Prevalence and correlations of early microvascular complications in young type I diabetic patients: role of puberty

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. Nov-Dec 1997;10(6):587-92. doi: 10.1515/jpem.1997.10.6.587.


The prevalence and correlates of the early signs of renal, retinal and neurological microvascular complications were evaluated in 317 young patients with type I diabetes mellitus. Microalbuminuria was detected in 11% of patients and appeared to be strongly and positively related to HbA1c (p < 0.01) and less significantly to duration of diabetes (p < 0.02). Retinopathy was detected in 22.7% of patients and it was associated with duration of diabetes (p < 0.001). Peripheral neuropathy was detected in 18.5% of patients and there was a strong association with HbA1c (p < 0.01) and a weaker one with duration of diabetes (p < 0.05). Microalbuminuria was not detected in prepubertal patients while a similar frequency of retinopathy and neuropathy was observed in prepubertal and postpubertal patients. These results suggest that: 1) In short-term type I diabetic patients neuropathy is the most frequent microvascular complication, but after 10 years of diabetes, retinopathy exceeds the other complications; 2) Short-term metabolic control may influence the frequency of neuropathy and microalbuminuria but not retinopathy; 3) Puberty is involved in the appearance of microalbuminuria.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Albuminuria / blood
  • Albuminuria / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / blood
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / blood
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / blood
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / blood
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Puberty / blood
  • Puberty / physiology*
  • Puberty / urine


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A