Home > Diabetes > What long-term health problems can diabetes cause? Get the Flash Player to see this player. Rate: (Click the stars to rate) Published on Aug 22, 2008 by SSreenan, Views: 3605 Long term complications of diabetes are split in small and large vessel damage. Small vessel complications include kidney damage or kidney failure, it can affect the eyes and is the leading cause of blindness, and neuropathy which affect the nerves of the arms and legs. Large vessel damage is the risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease and is the leading cause of amputation.