Cataracts in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: Sixteen years' experience in children and adolescents

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Abstract

Objective:

To report on cases of diabetic cataracts in a paediatric and adolescent population.

Methodology:

Medical histories of children and adolescents attending the Royal Children's Hospital Diabetes Service who had developed cataracts between 1981 and 1996 were examined.

Results:

Nine cases of diabetic cataracts have been managed over the 16-year time frame. Two cases presented at diagnosis of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and one 3 weeks after. The remaining six presented 1.7-13 years (mean 5.17 ± 4.02) after diagnosis of IDDM. All but one had exhibited poor control of their diabetes with high HbA1C values.

Conclusions:

Cataracts occurring in the paediatric and adolescent population, though uncommon, lead to marked morbidity. It is recommended that all children have an ophthalmological examination at diagnosis, particularly if they have had a long duration of symptoms before diagnosis. Persistently poor diabetes control and/or blurred vision are indications for prompt ophthalmological review.

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