To examine refraction, change in refraction, and risk factors for change in refraction in adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Population-based study. Modified Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study refractions and a standard history were obtained for all participants. Baseline and 10-year follow-up data were available.
Age and education were significantly associated with refraction in persons with younger-onset diabetes (T1D) and in those with older-onset diabetes (T2D); refractions were similar for both groups. Persons of similar age with T1D were likely to be more myopic than were those with T2D (P < .01). In those with T1D, on average, there was a −0.28-diopter (D) change in refraction in 10 years. Those with longer duration of diabetes and proliferative retinopathy were more likely to have hyperopic shifts in refraction. In persons with T2D, there was, on average, a +0.48-D change in refraction during the 10 years, but there was little consistency in the amount of change by age at baseline.
In persons of similar age, those with T1D were likely to be slightly more myopic than were those with T2D. Overall, mean refraction and the important risk factors of age and education were similar to those reported in nondiabetic populations.