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From San Juan Capistrano, California, USA:

My six year old son was diagnosed with diabetes about 18 months ago. Is there any correlation between the age at onset of diabetes and the likelihood of complications later in life? In other words, since he was diagnosed early, are his chances of diabetes-related complications greater than if he did not contract diabetes until later in his life?


So far as I know, age of onset by itself is not a factor governing the likelihood of complications or of their severity. At the same time, the earlier Type 1 Diabetes is clinically diagnosed the longer will be the exposure to the risk of complications and the greater therefore the chance of developing them. Put another way, duration of diabetes is more important than age of onset.

Nowadays, of course, the consequences of small blood vessel changes in the eyes and kidneys especially have been much diminished by the increased emphasis on meticulous blood sugar control, by better tools for early diagnosis like the non-mydriatic digital retinal camera and the increased ability to treat changes successfully in the earliest stages.


Original posting 8 May 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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