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- Diabetic retinopathy
- quality of life
- visual function
- outcome measure
- vision impairment
- public health
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a serious microvascular complication of diabetes.1 Nearly all patients with type 1 diabetes and more 60% of those with type 2 diabetes will develop some degree of DR after 20 years of diabetes.2 3 In its non-proliferative stages, DR is mostly asymptomatic but may cause significant and disabling vision loss once it progresses to severe non-proliferative DR (NPDR) and proliferative DR (PDR) stages. Furthermore, clinically significant diabetic macular oedema (DME), which causes centralised vision loss, can occur at any stage.3 4 Vision impairment from DR and DME places a considerable burden on patients' quality of life (QoL).5–8
The stages of DR are classified according to the presence and extent of well-defined clinical signs. The advanced stages affect visual performance in a number of ways, including visual acuity, depth perception, colour …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.