What is the importance of glucose control in the management of diabetic retinopathy?

Updated: Sep 02, 2021
  • Author: Abdhish R Bhavsar, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial has found that intensive glucose control in patients with type 1 diabetes decreases the incidence and progression of diabetic retinopathy. [12, 13, 14]

The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS), which involved newly diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, revealed that the risk of retinopathy was reduced through both improved glycemic control and improved blood pressure control. A 1% reduction in HbA1c reduced the risk for retinopathy by 31%, and a 10 mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure reduced photocoagulation or vitreous haemorrhage by 11%. [34] The ADA recommends that all patients with diabetes (type 2 and type 1) strive to maintain glycated hemoglobin levels of less than 7% (reflecting long-term glucose levels) to prevent or at least minimize the long-term complications of diabetes mellitus, including retinopathy.

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