Background To estimate the 10-year incidence of referable diabetic retinopathy (DR) in a French population with type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). A secondary objective was the assessment of safe screening intervals in patients with diabetes without retinopathy.
Methods Observational, prospective and multicentric study between June 2004 and September 2017 based on a regional screening programme for DR in the Paris region. The incidence of referable DR in patients without retinopathy at baseline was calculated by the Turnbull survival estimator. A safe screening interval was defined as a 95% probability of remaining without referable DR.
Results Among the 25 745 participants with type 1 (n=6086) or type 2 (n=19 659) DM, the 10-year cumulative incidence of referable DR was 19.10% (95% CI 17.21% to 21.14%) and 17.03% (15.78% to 18.35%), median (IQR) follow-up=3.33 (4.24) years. The safe screening interval for patients without DR at the first examination for type 1 and 2 DM was 2.2 (95% CI 2.0 to 2.4) and 3.0 (2.9 to 3.1) years, respectively. In a subgroup of low-risk patients with type 2 DM, the safe screening interval was 4.2 (3.8 to 4.6) years.
Conclusions These data suggest that in Paris area, a 2-year, 3-year and 4-year screening interval was considered safe for type 1 DM, type 2 DM and for low-risk patients with type 2 DM, respectively, without DR at the first examination. While these data might be used to support the consideration of extending screening intervals, a randomised clinical trial would be suitable to confirm the safety for patients with DM.
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Contributors CC and VD: conception, conducting analysis and reporting. AE, J-FG, MV and RT: revising and reporting. IC: conducting analysis, revising and reporting. PM: database, planning, revising and reporting.
Funding This study was funded by Club Francophone des Spécialistes de la Rétine.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The present study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the French Society of Ophthalmology (IRB 00008855 Société Française d’Ophtalmologie IRB#1). Patients gave their informed consent for this study.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request.