Diabetes care improved greatly over the last few decades with new technology for patient self-monitoring, improved methods for insulin management, and widespread use of other new medications that could affect the development of complications. The Wisconsin Diabetes Registry Study (WDRS) cohort is unique in being comprehensively described from diagnosis, during 1987-1992 until now, with respect to glycemic control, diabetes care and complications. In addition, a longitudinal plasma bank provides a unique opportunity to examine possible risk factors over time, which could identify new targets for intervention.
The ability to predict which patients are at high or low risk to develop complications would be a major advance that could substantially change and improve diabetes care. This has not been possible up until now, but analysis of carefully collected longitudinal data provides an opportunity to identify markers that are associated with risk of complications. Importantly, the WDRS allows this sort of examination under the conditions of more modern diabetes management and so is relevant to current medical practice. We propose to capitalize on the opportunity provided by our cohort to assess the current level of diabetes care in the population and the incidence, prevalence and progression of complications at 18-20 years diabetes duration.
The main purpose of the current round of follow-up is to test certain features of the eyes and kidneys and to describe and compare diabetes care and other health information that may help predict the development of complications in persons with type 1 diabetes.