12 Sep Diabetes: Vascular Complications Vary By Duration of Disease
Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study
Dr. Zoungas: Our study shows that age (or age at diagnosis) and duration of diabetes disease are linked to the risk of death and marcovascular complications (those in larger blood vessels) whereas only diabetes duration is linked to the risk of microvascular complications (in smaller blood vessels such as those in the kidney and eyes)
Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Zoungas: We were surprised to find that people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a younger age were more at risk of microvascular complications than those diagnosed at an older age.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Zoungas: We believe a refocus towards intensive management of hyperglycaemia at diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, particularly in younger people, may be warranted if the long-term risk of microvascular complications is to be minimised.
With respect to macrovascular complications, our findings indicate that effective prevention requires vigilance at all stages of the disease and across all age groups. However, as the absolute event rates were highest in the older age groups, surveillance for macrovascular complications should be intensified with increasing age.”
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Zoungas: Future research into the best strategies for achieving and maintaining optimal glucose control in people with diabetes diagnosed at a young age are required.
With the increasing number of non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches to improve glycaemic control this objective should be achievable.