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Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy within a national diabetic retinopathy screening service
  1. Rebecca L Thomas1,
  2. Frank D Dunstan2,
  3. Stephen D Luzio1,
  4. Sharmistha Roy Chowdhury3,
  5. Rachel V North4,
  6. Sarah L Hale5,
  7. Robert L Gibbins6,
  8. David R Owens1
  1. 1Diabetes Research Group, Swansea University, Swansea, Wales, UK
  2. 2Institute of Primary Care and Public Health, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK
  3. 3Institute of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK
  4. 4School of Optometry & Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK
  5. 5Department of Ophthalmology, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff, Wales, UK
  6. 6Retired GP, Powys, Wales, UK
  1. Correspondence to Prof David R Owens, Diabetes Research Group, Institute of Life Sciences, College of Medicine, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP, UK; owensdr{at}cardiff.ac.uk

Abstract

Aims Determine the prevalence and severity of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and risk factors in a large community based screening programme, in order to accurately estimate the future burden of this specific and debilitating complication of diabetes.

Methods A cross-sectional analysis of 91 393 persons with diabetes, 5003 type 1 diabetes and 86 390 type 2 diabetes, at their first screening by the community based National Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service for Wales from 2005 to 2009. Image capture used 2×45° digital images per eye following mydriasis, classified by qualified retinal graders with final grading based on the worst eye.

Results The prevalence of any DR and sight-threatening DR in those with type 1 diabetes was 56.0% and 11.2%, respectively, and in type 2 diabetes was 30.3% and 2.9%, respectively. The presence of DR, non-sight-threatening and sight-threatening, was strongly associated with increasing duration of diabetes for either type 1 or type 2 diabetes and also associated with insulin therapy in those with type 2 diabetes.

Conclusions Prevalence of DR within the largest reported community-based, quality assured, DR screening programme, was higher in persons with type 1 diabetes; however, the major burden is represented by type 2 diabetes which is 94% of the screened population.

  • Retina
  • Public health
  • Epidemiology
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