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Diabetic retinopathy in Down’s syndrome
  1. Tim Fulchera,
  2. Margaret Griffinb,
  3. Seamus Crowleyb,
  4. Richard Firthb,
  5. Robert Achesona,
  6. Niall O’Mearab
  1. aDepartment of Ophthalmology, Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, bDepartment of Endocrinology, Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Mr T Fulcher, Institute of Ophthalmology, 60 Eccles Street, Dublin 7, Ireland.


AIM To determine the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in patients with Down’s syndrome and diabetes mellitus.

METHOD Nine patients with Down’s syndrome and diabetes mellitus were assessed. Factors recorded included type and duration of diabetes, level of diabetic control, blood pressure, urinalysis, and results of ophthalmological examination.

RESULTS The duration of diabetes ranged from 8 to 41 years (mean 17.6 years). All had satisfactory glycaemic control and blood pressure measurements on the low side of normal (mean 106.6/70 mm Hg). One patient had early background diabetic retinopathy. The remainder had no evidence of diabetic retinopathy.

CONCLUSION The low prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in these Down’s syndrome patients, despite the long duration, is an interesting finding. It suggests some inherent protective factor against the development of diabetic retinopathy in this patient subgroup.

  • Down’s syndrome
  • retinopathy
  • diabetes
  • hypertension

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