To describe the relationships between the cumulative incidences of long-term complications in individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and assess whether observed associations are independent of age, duration of diabetes, and glycemic levels.


Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), clinically significant macular edema (CSME), reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), amputations, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and mortality were assessed in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications Study over ∼30 years.


The cumulative incidence of complications ranged from 3% (amputations) to 37% (CSME). There were large differences in the cumulative incidence of PDR between participants with versus without prior CSME (66% vs. 15%), reduced eGFR (59% vs. 29%), and amputation (68% vs. 32%); reduced eGFR with or without prior PDR (25% vs. 9%), amputation (48% vs. 13%), and CVD (30% vs. 11%); CVD with or without prior reduced eGFR (37% vs. 14%) and amputation (50% vs. 16%); and mortality with or without prior reduced eGFR (22% vs. 9%), amputation (35% vs. 8%), and CVD (25% vs. 8%). Adjusted for age, duration of T1D, and mean updated HbA1c, the complications and associations with higher risk included PDR with CSME (hazard ratio [HR] 1.88; 95% CI 1.42, 2.50), reduced eGFR (HR 1.41; 95% CI 1.01, 1.97), and CVD (HR 1.43; 95% CI 1.06, 1.92); CSME with higher risk of PDR (HR 3.94; 95% CI 3.18 4.89), reduced eGFR (HR 1.49; 95% CI 1.10, 2.01), and CVD (HR 1.35; 95% CI 1.03, 1.78); reduced eGFR with higher risk of CVD (HR 2.09; 95% CI 1.44, 3.03), and death (HR 3.40; 95% CI 2.35, 4.92); amputation(s) with death (HR 2.97; 95% CI 1.70, 2.90); and CVD with reduced eGFR (HR 1.59; 95% CI 1.08, 2.34) and death (HR 1.95; 95% CI 1.32, 2.90).


Long-term micro- and macrovascular complications and mortality are highly correlated. Age, diabetes duration, and glycemic levels do not completely explain these associations.

Clinical trial reg. no. NCT00360893 and NCT00360815, clinicaltrials.gov

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.21583773.


A complete list of participants in the DCCT/EDIC Research Group can be found in the supplementary material online.

I.B. is chair and M.E.M. is co-chair of the DCCT/EDIC Writing Committee.

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