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Winter 99 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

Compiled by Edgenie Lindquist, BVICP Consultant, TCB

Can Children Get Diabetic Eye Disease?

Editor's Note: The following information is reprinted with permission from "The Diabetes Advisor," November/December 1998 - Volume 6, No. 6 published by the American Diabetes Association.

A new study shows children can get diabetic eye disease and suggests they be screened. In the study, 557 kids and teens with type 1 diabetes had photographs taken of their eyes. Eye doctors who studied the photos found diabetic eye disease in 81 subjects. Eye disease was more likely in the older kids and those who'd had diabetes for a while. But eye disease did occur in some kids who had not yet gone through puberty.

Eye disease is uncommon before puberty, but it does occur. The researchers suggest that screening for eye disease start at age 10. (Diabetologia 40:307-10, 1997)

Editor's Note: The following bulletins come from "Diabetes Interview: Information for the Diabetes Community Since 1991," October 1998 - Issue 75; Volume 7, No. 10. This information is copyrighted and may only be reproduced with their permission. You may contact this publication regarding permission or to request a subscription by calling (800) 488-8468.

New Test on Diabetes Hearing Loss

Researchers at the Catholic University in Rome, Italy, are further exploring the effect that diabetes might have on hearing loss. The study, which was conducted by Walter DiNardo, MD, and fellow researchers, was aimed at exploring hearing loss in patients with type 1 diabetes.

According to the August 1998 issue of Diabetes Care, Dr. DiNardo studied 47 people with type 1 diabetes who still had normal hearing capabilities. Results showed that all subjects had impairments in the spiral canal.

Past studies have shown that the location of diabetes hearing loss is in the high-frequency area of the ear, with a progressive loss over time. Furthermore, the study revealed that individuals with type 1 diabetes show an earlier abnormality of the inner ear. These hearing problems usually begin with a lesion in the inner ear spiral canal, and can be a result of neuropathy.

Epidemic Diabetes Rate Among African-American Teens

African-American teenagers in Allegheny County, Penn., are experiencing an epidemic-level onset of type 1 diabetes, and researchers are fighting to find the cause. Some even suspect that a new type of diabetes has surfaced.

According to the August 1998 issue of Diabetes Care, Ingrid Libman, MD, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, studied 257 children under age 20 in Allegheny County. Among teenagers ages 15 to 19, nonwhites (95 percent of whom were African American) had a type 1 diabetes incidence rate that was three times higher than that of the white participants.

Compared to past studies in Allegheny County, and throughout the country, this rate has skyrocketed. Researchers contend that this epidemic in nonwhite teenagers may be the result of a rising incidence of classical type 1 diabetes, or perhaps it represents another type of diabetes altogether. The data compiled is considered an important step in determining what factors may lead to the onset of diabetes.