Background: Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) is one of the most common cause of vision loss in diabetic patients, and the incidence age of PDR patients gradually gets younger. This study aims to compare the characteristics of PDR and outcomes following vitrectomy in young and senior patients. Methods: This is a retrospective case series study. Data of 116 eyes of 92 patients who underwent vitrectomy for PDR from February 2012 to February 2017 were reviewed, which were divided into young and senior patient groups. All patients were followed up for 24 months at least. Results: There were 62.1% of eyes with tractional retinal detachment secondary to PDR in the young patient group, while only 12.1% of eyes in the senior patient group with this surgery indication. (P < 0.001) The best corrected visual acuity increased in 41 eyes (70.7%), stable in 9 eyes (15.5%), and decreased in 8 eyes (13.8%) in young patients at the final follow-up. And it increased in 47 eyes (81.0%), stable in 2 eyes (3.4%), and decreased in 9 eyes (15.5%) in senior patients (P = 0.085). Postoperative complications mainly included recurrent vitreous hemorrhage (24.1%), retinal detachment (3.4%), neovascular glaucoma (NVG) (27.6%) and nuclear sclerosis (53.4%) in young patients, and it was 19.0, 0.0, 1.7 and 3.4% in senior patients respectively. Summary: PDR of young patients is more severe than that of senior patients, and vitrectomy is an effective and safe method for PDR treatment. NVG is a main and severe complication besides nuclear sclerosis in young patients, and the incidence of NVG is higher compared to that in senior patients.