Objective To estimate the incidence densities and cumulative incidence of diabetes-related complications in patients with type 1 diabetes for a maximum of 15-year follow-up. The estimations were further stratified by gender and age at diagnosis (ie, early onset: 0-12 years, late onset:≥13 years). Design A population-based retrospective longitudinal cohort study. Setting Taiwan's National Health Insurance medical claims. Participants 4007 patients newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes were identified during 1999-2012. Outcome measures Acute complications included diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hypoglycaemia. Chronic complications were cardiovascular diseases (CVD), retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy. Results The incidence density of retinopathy was greatest (97.74 per 1000 person-years), followed by those of nephropathy (31.36), neuropathy (23.93) and CVD (4.39). Among acute complications, the incidence density of DKA was greatest (121.11 per 1000 person-years). The cumulative incidences of acute complications after 12 years following diagnosis were estimated to be 52.1%, 36.1% and 4.1% for DKA, outpatient hypoglycaemia and hospitalised hypoglycaemia, respectively. For chronic complications, the cumulative incidence of retinopathy after 12 years following diagnosis was greatest (65.2%), followed by those of nephropathy (30.2%), neuropathy (23.7%) and CVD (4.1%). Females with late-onset diabetes were greatly affected by advanced retinopathy (ie, sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy) and hospitalised hypoglycaemia, whereas those with early-onset diabetes were more vulnerable to DKA. Chronic complications were more commonly seen in late-onset diabetes, whereas early-onset diabetes were most affected by acute complications. Conclusions Ethnic Chinese patients with type 1 diabetes were greatly affected by DKA and retinopathy. The incidence of diabetes-related complications differed by age at diagnosis and sex.
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