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      The Effect of Intensive Treatment of Diabetes on the Development and Progression of Long-Term Complications in Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus

      New England Journal of Medicine

      Massachusetts Medical Society

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          Abstract

          Long-term microvascular and neurologic complications cause major morbidity and mortality in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). We examined whether intensive treatment with the goal of maintaining blood glucose concentrations close to the normal range could decrease the frequency and severity of these complications. A total of 1441 patients with IDDM--726 with no retinopathy at base line (the primary-prevention cohort) and 715 with mild retinopathy (the secondary-intervention cohort) were randomly assigned to intensive therapy administered either with an external insulin pump or by three or more daily insulin injections and guided by frequent blood glucose monitoring or to conventional therapy with one or two daily insulin injections. The patients were followed for a mean of 6.5 years, and the appearance and progression of retinopathy and other complications were assessed regularly. In the primary-prevention cohort, intensive therapy reduced the adjusted mean risk for the development of retinopathy by 76 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 62 to 85 percent), as compared with conventional therapy. In the secondary-intervention cohort, intensive therapy slowed the progression of retinopathy by 54 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 39 to 66 percent) and reduced the development of proliferative or severe nonproliferative retinopathy by 47 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 14 to 67 percent). In the two cohorts combined, intensive therapy reduced the occurrence of microalbuminuria (urinary albumin excretion of > or = 40 mg per 24 hours) by 39 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 21 to 52 percent), that of albuminuria (urinary albumin excretion of > or = 300 mg per 24 hours) by 54 percent (95 percent confidence interval 19 to 74 percent), and that of clinical neuropathy by 60 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 38 to 74 percent). The chief adverse event associated with intensive therapy was a two-to-threefold increase in severe hypoglycemia. Intensive therapy effectively delays the onset and slows the progression of diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy in patients with IDDM.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Generalized Linear Models

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            The effect of long-term intensified insulin treatment on the development of microvascular complications of diabetes mellitus.

            A cause-and-effect relation between blood glucose concentrations and microvascular complications in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus has not been established. We randomly assigned 102 patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, nonproliferative retinopathy, normal serum creatinine concentrations, and unsatisfactory blood glucose control to intensified insulin treatment (48 patients) or standard insulin treatment (54 patients). We then evaluated them for microvascular complications after 18 months and 3, 5, and 7.5 years. Mean (+/- SD) glycosylated hemoglobin values were reduced from 9.5 +/- 1.3 percent to 7.1 +/- 0.7 percent in the group receiving intensified treatment and from 9.4 +/- 1.4 percent to 8.5 +/- 0.7 percent in the group receiving standard treatment (P = 0.001). In 12 of the patients receiving intensified treatment (27 percent of those included in the analysis) and 27 of those receiving standard treatment (52 percent), serious retinopathy requiring photocoagulation developed (P = 0.01). Visual acuity decreased in 6 patients receiving intensified treatment (14 percent) and in 18 receiving standard treatment (35 percent) (P = 0.02). Nephropathy (urinary albumin excretion, > 200 micrograms per minute) developed in one patient in the group receiving intensified treatment, as compared with nine patients in the group receiving standard treatment (P = 0.01). No patient in the intensified-treatment group had nephropathy with subnormal glomerular filtration rates, as compared with six patients in the standard-treatment group (P = 0.02). The conduction velocities of the ulnar, tibial, peroneal, and sural nerves decreased significantly more in the standard-treatment group than in the intensified-treatment group. The odds ratio for serious retinopathy was 0.4 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.2 to 1.0; P = 0.04) in the intensified-treatment group as compared with the standard-treatment group. The corresponding odds ratio for nephropathy was 0.1 (95 percent confidence interval, 0 to 0.8; P = 0.04). Long-term intensified insulin treatment, as compared with standard treatment, retards the development of microvascular complications in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
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              Grading Diabetic Retinopathy from Stereoscopic Color Fundus Photographs—An Extension of the Modified Airlie House Classification

                (1991)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                September 30 1993
                September 30 1993
                : 329
                : 14
                : 977-986
                Article
                10.1056/NEJM199309303291401
                8366922
                © 1993

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