• Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous

    This latest U.S. population-based estimate shows that the overall prevalence of diabetic retinopathy is 28.5 percent among U.S. adults with diabetes, with the disease most prevalent among men and non-Hispanic black individuals. The estimated prevalence of vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy was 4.4 percent.

    Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evaluated a cross-sectional, nationally representative sample of 1,006 diabetic adults age 40 and older from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted between 2005 and 2008.

    Overall, they show the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was 31.6 percent among diabetic men and 25.7 percent among diabetic women. Crude prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was 38.8 percent among non-Hispanic black individuals and 26.4 percent among non-Hispanic white subjects. Crude prevalence of vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy was 9.3 percent among non-Hispanic black subjects and 3.2 percent among non-Hispanic white subjects.

    Additional analysis also showed that male sex, higher hemoglobin A1c level, longer duration of diabetes, insulin use and higher systolic blood pressure were independently associated with the presence of diabetic retinopathy.

    The authors predict that with the aging of the population and the increasing proportion of the population with diverse racial and ethnic heritage, the number of cases of diabetic retinopathy and vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy will likely increase. They add that the need for eye care and culturally appropriate interventions that can reduce disparity and improve access to eye care among diverse populations will likely increase.