Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on May 02, 2012

Sources

C. Ronald Kahn, MD - President / Director, Joslin Diabetes Center; Mary K Iacocca Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. His discoveries in insulin signals/receptors revolutionized diabetes research.

© 2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD Archive

Video Transcript

Narrator: What are the long-term complications of diabetes?

C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. President and Director, Joslin Diabetes Center: Well, the major long term complications of diabetes are those that involve the vascular system, particularly the small blood vessels of the eye, the kidney, and the nervous system.

C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. (cont.): So you get retinopathy, that is changes in vision due to blood supply to the eye. You get changes in kidney function, and sometimes even kidney failure due to blood supply to the kidney. And you get changes in nerve function due the changes in blood supply to the nerve. As well as the large blood vessels that supply the major arteries that go to the heart, that go to the blood vessels of the limbs and so people are at risk for more heart attacks, for more amputations and for other problems like ulcers because their skin doesn't get good blood flow.

C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. (cont.): These long term complications occur in both types of diabetes, both type one and type two and so we have to be attentive to both types of diabetes.