PURPOSE: Accommodative amplitude in persons with diabetes was investigated using data collected as part of the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study. METHODS: Accommodative amplitude was measured at the baseline visit in 1,058 patients who had good visual acuity and who were less than 46 years old. Risk factors for low accommodative amplitude at baseline were evaluated using multivariable linear regression. Change in accommodative amplitude after photocoagulation was evaluated using paired t tests and repeated measures analysis of variance for the 578 patients who underwent follow-up measurements at the 4-month visit. RESULTS: Accommodative amplitudes in Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study patients were lower than normal accommodative amplitudes. Older age (P < 0.001) and increased duration of diabetes (P < 0.01) were risk factors associated with low amplitudes of accommodation in the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study. Full scatter photocoagulation was associated with an apparently transient additional reduction in accommodative amplitude; a one third diopter loss in accommodative amplitude was demonstrated only at the 4-month visit (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that diabetes and duration of diabetes, along with age, are important risk factors for reduced accommodative amplitude. These factors along with an apparently transient decrease in accommodative amplitude following scatter photocoagulation should be considered when assessing the accommodative needs of patients with diabetes and when discussing side effects of full scatter photocoagulation.
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