In a prospective study, 64 patients with insulin-dependent juvenile-onset diabetes mellitus were followed for eight to 12 years to determine if those with higher spontaneous intraocular pressures (IOPs) would be protected from the development of retinopathy. The patients were also classified initially as high (GG), intermediate (NG), or low (NN) responders on the basis of their IOP response to corticosteroid eyedrops. High responders were found to be considerably in excess (25 per cent) of the proportion found in the general population (6 per cent). Retinopathy developed significantly less often and was less severe in the high (GG) corticosteroid responders. Although the GG diabetics had significantly higher mean baseline IOPs than the less responsive NN and NG groups in each corticosteroid response category, the mean IOP of the group with retinopathy was not significantly different from that without retinopathy. This suggested that factors associated with the GG response other than increased IOP might be important in the relative resistance to diabetic retinopathy.

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