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Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy in people aged 50 years and older in Hungary


Background/aims The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) in the population aged 50 years and older in Hungary, and to assess the coverage of diabetic eye care services.

Methods In total, 105 clusters of 35 people aged 50 years or older were randomly selected. The standardised rapid assessment of avoidable blindness (RAAB) with the diabetic retinopathy module (DRM) was used. Participants were classified as having DM if they were known to have DM or if their random blood glucose level was ≥200 mg/dL. Dilated fundus examination and Scottish DR grading were performed.

Results In total, 3523 (95.9%) out of 3675 eligible subjects were examined. And 705 (20.0%) out of 3523 had known (661) or newly diagnosed DM (44). Twenty per cent of participants with known DM had a blood glucose level ≥200 mg/dL, and 27.4% had never had an ophthalmological examination for DR. Prevalence of DR and/or maculopathy was 20.7% and prevalence of sight-threatening DR (STDR) was 4.3% in one or both eyes among participants with DM.

Conclusions Prevalence of DM was in line with findings of other RAAB+DRM surveys and slightly lower than the unpublished earlier age-matched Hungarian estimate. Prevalence of DR was slightly lower than expected. The prevalence of STDR was low in people aged 50 years and older in Hungary compared with the results of other RAAB with DRM surveys. DR screening coverage was low. To prevent severe complications of DM and possible concomitant visual loss, the coverage of ophthalmic examinations in patients with DM should be increased.

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