Is blood pressure a predictor of the incidence or progression of diabetic retinopathy?
Degenerative changes of the retina, the photosensitive layer of the eye, are a complication of diabetes. The predictive value of abnormal blood pressure in determining the risk of diabetic retinopathy has been examined in a four-year case study of 891 younger- and 987 older-onset diabetic individuals. Blood pressure was measured in these individuals and the condition of their retinas was examined and photographed using a three-dimensional method known as stereoscopic fundoscopy at the beginning of observation. The patients were regularly re-examined and additional images of their retinas were obtained. A statistical evaluation showed that elevated systolic blood pressure, measured during the contraction phase of the heartbeat, was a reliable predictor of retinopathy in the younger group of patients, but not in the older group. The reason for this difference in the predictive value of elevated blood pressure in these two groups of patients is unclear.
Publication Name: Archives of Internal Medicine
Relation of glycemic control to diabetic microvascular complications in diabetes mellitus
The risk for small vessel disease among patients with diabetes seems to depend more on blood sugar levels rather than whether the patient has insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Researchers evaluated evidence of small vessel disease in the eye, kidney, and nerves of 996 younger patients with IDDM and 1,370 older patients with either IDDM or NIDDM over a 10-year period. They also grouped these patients according to blood sugar levels. There was a greater difference in the incidence of eye and kidney complications when comparing groups of patients with different blood sugar levels rather than the type of diabetes. There was a similar trend in patients reporting a loss of feeling or ability to feel temperature changes in their feet. However, the incidence of kidney failure was lower for older patients than younger patients with similar blood sugar levels.
Publication Name: Annals of Internal Medicine
Alcohol Intake and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease Mortality in Persons With Older-Onset Diabetes Mellitus
Even people with diabetes can benefit from a moderate intake of alcohol. Alcohol in moderate quantities has been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers followed 983 people with type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes for many years. Mortality rates from cardiovascular disease in those who drank the most alcohol were about one-fifth the rate in those who drank no alcohol.
Publication Name: JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association
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