Diabetes duration and A1C remain the gold standard for determining whether you may develop retinopathy and neuropathy. However, if you are a type 1 with a weight problem, you may not be slowing down the progression to these microvascular complications.
A total of 592 participants with type 1 diabetes who did not have nephropathy (kidney disease), also a microvascular complication, were evaluated. The average diabetes duration was 19 years with the average participant age being 41. A total of 168 men and 146 women with body masses indices greater than 25 were studied against 156 men and 122 women with BMI less than 25.
Overweight participants were found to have more retinopathy and neuropathy than normal-weight patients.
“Patients with retinopathy were older and had a longer diabetes duration, a higher A1C and a higher BMI than individuals without retinopathy,” write the researchers. “The same results are found in neuropathy.”
Men had more neuropathy than women.
—Diabetes Care, July 2005