Eye Outcomes in Veteran Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT) After 17 Years.

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The objective of this study was to assess the long-term role of intensive glycemic control (INT) compared with standard glycemic control in accumulated eye procedures in patients with advanced diabetes.We compared the effect of treatment assignment on the accumulated number of eye procedures during the intervention period of the Veteran Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT) (2000-2008) (median follow-up 5.6 years), the interim VADT follow-up study (2000-2013), and the full 17 years of VADT follow-up (2000-2017). We further analyzed data using various cardiovascular markers in two models. Model I included total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and BMI. Model II included these covariates plus age and diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity score at baseline of the original trial.The final analysis of the data showed a mild but nonsignificant increase in number of procedures and in retinal or retinal plus cataract surgery during the three periods of the study.We found no significant benefit of INT during the original trial period in eye-related procedures, such as various procedures for DR, or during the 17 years of follow-up in cataract surgery. However, after adjusting data for some known vascular markers, the increase in the number of eye procedures with INT becomes more prevalent. This finding indicates that INT might not have a protective role in events requiring surgery in individuals with advanced diabetes.

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Authors: Nasrin Azad, Lily Agrawal, Gideon Bahn, Nicholas V Emanuele, Peter D Reaven, Rodney Hayward, Domenic Reda, VADT Study Group