Follow-up results of the progression of diabetic retinopathy in 364 patients who attended the Diabetes Clinic of the Third Department of Internal Medicine (University of Tokyo) regularly for more than two years were analyzed in relation to their degree of control, age and therapeutic agents. Ophthalmologic examinations were performed by two ophthalmologists without referring to other data.
In 289 untreated cases, retinopathy at the initial visit was more frequent and more severe when known duration of diabetes was longer and initial fasting blood sugar was higher. The degree of control was judged by fasting blood sugar values determined frequently and regularly. Progression of retinopathy was significantly more frequent in the fair and poor control groups than in the good control group. In older age groups, progression, especially occurrence of new lesions, was more frequent. Sulfonylurea did not appear inferior to insulin so long as an acceptable degree of control was maintained.