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Original article
Prevalence of diabetic macular oedema and related health and social care resource use in England
  1. D C Minassian1,
  2. D R Owens2,
  3. A Reidy3
  1. 1Division of Epidemiology and Genetics, Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2Centre for Endocrine and Diabetes Science, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Wales, UK
  3. 3Department of Applied Social Sciences, London Metropolitan University, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr D C Minassian, UCL, Institute of Ophthalmology, Division of Epidemiology and Genetics, Bath Street, London EC1V 9EL, UK; minassiandarwin{at}


Aims To address the absence from the public health ophthalmology literature of age- and sex-specific prevalence and related resource use for diabetic macular oedema (DMO) in England, UK.

Methods Calculation of age- and sex-specific rates from primary source clinical data, and application to the demographic structure of England to estimate the number of cases affected by DMO. A public health commissioner and provider of social care perspective was adopted in a standard cost of illness study.

Results The number of people with diabetes in England in 2010 was estimated at 2 342 951 of which 2 334 550 were aged ≥12 years. An estimated 166 325 (7.12%) had DMO in one or both eyes, and of these, 64 725 individuals had clinically significant DMO reducing the visual acuity to poorer than 6/6 in at least one eye. The overall health and social care costs in 2010, on the pathway from screening to rehabilitation and care in the home, are estimated at £116 296 038.

Conclusions The outcomes of this study should alert public health commissioners and clinical providers to the burden of DMO. The methods employed should also encourage the use of clinical ophthalmic data at the interface between local population and hospital-based recording systems.

  • Diabetic macular oedema
  • public health
  • cost of illness
  • commissioning
  • epidemiology
  • age-specific prevalence
  • macula
  • vision
  • public health
  • epidemiology

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  • Funding Novartis UK provided funding and additional economist support for the cost of illness aspect of this study.

  • Ethics approval The epidemiological analysis of the initial DRSSW dataset was carried out under the auspices of the University of Cardiff Diabetes Research Unit, with ethical committee approval.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.