I've had T1 since the very early 80's.
The standards of care have improved so incredibly much since my diagnosis. And the statistics are really beginning to show this, the marked decrease in complications (or at least the fact that complications are no longer guaranteed just a few years after diagnosis) as home bg testing and intensive bg control techniques become the norm rather than the exception.
Just a few years ago the word from the medical establishment was: "After 20 years of diabetes, nearly all patients with type 1 diabetes have some degree of retinopathy"
But today (quoting from a summary): Prevalence of retinopathy dropped from 53% of 342 patients assessed between 1990 and 1994 to 38% of 517 patients assessed between 1995 and 1999. Incidence continued to decline in subsequent time-stratified groups, with a 23% prevalence recorded for 604 patients assessed between 2000 and 2004 and a 12% retinopathy prevalence demonstrated in 567 patients evaluated between 2005 and 2009 (P < .001).
The short summary is here on Medscape
. Complete article to be published in Diabetes Care.