Diabetic eye disease screening for children with type 1 diabetes should start at a later age, says a team of researchers.
The new study has found that the occurrence of advanced forms of a diabetic retinopathy remains low among children living with diabetes, regardless of how long they have had the disease or their ability to keep blood sugar levels controlled.
Researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Scheie Eye Institute, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania are therefore recommending that most children with type 1 diabetes delay annual diabetic retinopathy screenings until age 15, or 5 years after their diabetes diagnosis, whichever occurs later.
Co-author Gil Binenbaum said that many of the young patients with diabetes diligently come in every year for screenings that consistently show no sign of the disease and so it's good news for them.
Binenbaum added that it is very important to have annual eye exams once the risk of vision loss develops, But it is not worth the burden on the family and the healthcare system if evidence shows that diabetic retinopathy doesn't reach a treatable stage until years later.
The study appears online today in Ophthalmology
, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.