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Diet and diabetic retinopathy

A recent study of eating disorders in young female insulin dependent diabetics (N Engl J Med1997;336:1849–54) showed that there was a highly significant risk of developing retinopathy within 5 years which correlated with the severity of the eating disorder and was a stronger correlate of risk of retinopathy than duration of diabetes. The study comprised insulin dependent female diabetic patients who were followed up for 4–5 years. Eighteen per cent of the group suffered from an eating disorder at entry to the study which persisted for the duration of the study, and a further 15% developed an eating disorder during the study. One strategy used by the patients was to manipulate their insulin dosage downwards and this was reflected in a higher HbA1c and poor overall control of their diabetes. A remarkable 86% of patients with severe eating disorder developed retinopathy during the study period, while 43% with moderate and 24% with mild eating disorders developed retinopathy. The authors recommend attention to possible eating disorder in young women with poor metabolic control and counselling with regard to the risk of retinopathy.

Xenografting as a solution to the problem of tissue supply

Recently in Newsdesk the problem of donor supply for corneal grafting was highlighted (see Newsdesk, BJO1998;82:8). The supply of donor material for organ transplant is a general problem and, for tissues such as heart and liver, the notion of xenotransplantation has gained popular support. There are enormous ethical …

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