This UKPDS sought to answer a variety of questions related to the natural history and impact of hyperglycemia control for patients with Type II Diabetes. Such questions included what risk factors dictate the incidence and progression of diabetic retinopathy, in addition to what impact intensive glycemic control would yield on incidence and progression.
Overall, the UKPDS is a landmark study because it highlighted the important risk factors of high blood pressure and hyperglycemia in promoting the onset or progression of retinopathy in patients with Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, along with the DCCT (which studied Type I Diabetics), these studies helped to identify a new target for blood glucose control in Diabetic patients.
- Risk factors for development and progression of diabetic retinopathy were noted to be higher blood glucose levels, high blood pressure, and interestingly, not smoking
- The intensive glycemic control group had a lower A1c at study endpoints than the conventional diet-control group (7.0% versus 7.9%)
- The intensive glycemic control group had lower likelihood of development of microvascular complications (need for PRP), but did have elevated risk of hypoglycemia