“People are living longer with type 1 diabetes, and the onset of complications is taking longer,” says Hillary Keenan, Ph.D., a Joslin Diabetes Center Assistant Investigator and co-Principal Investigator on the Joslin 50-Year Medalist Study. “Good blood glucose control and exercise are important factors in reducing complications and mortality rates for these older individuals.”
The Joslin team’s earlier research among a smaller cohort of Medalists showed blood glucose control did not factor significantly in the development of microvascular complications such as proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR).
The current study compared the characteristics of Medalists who were diagnosed fewer than 52 years ago, 52 to 55 years ago, or more than 55 years ago. By focusing the analysis on date of diagnosis, this study found blood glucose control had little effect on the rates of microvascular complications, with the exception of PDR in the most recently diagnosed group.