Prevalence and associated risk factors for diabetic retinopathy at first ophthalmological contact




Diabetes, Diabetic retinopathy, First presentation, Risk factors


Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is now considered as a growing global public health concern due to cost associated with diabetic micro and macrovascular complications. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of the leading causes of vision loss. Accurate estimation of prevalence of DR among diabetic patients and associated risk factors are of crucial importance to plan and execute preventive strategies in the community.

Aims and Objectives: The present cross sectional hospital based observational study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of DR in diabetic patients at their first ophthalmological contact and to
evaluate associated risk factors.

Materials and Methods: In this cross sectional hospital based observational study, all diabetic patients visiting ophthalmology clinic for the first time after being diagnosed as diabetic were enrolled. After recording demographic data and biochemical findings, each patient was investigated for DR and correlated with associated risk factors.

Results: Of 1699 patients, majority (68.9%) of them had come to ophthalmology clinic with complaint of decreased vision. Only 16.12 % (274) patients had been referred for retinal exam by treating physician. DR was prevalent in 242(16.98%) non-referred and 31(11.31%) referred patients. Mean age and mean duration of diabetes was significantly higher in non-referred patients. Vision threatening DR was also significantly higher in nonreferred patients. Prevalence of DR was significantly correlated with age at presentation, duration of diabetes, rural background, uncontrolled diabetes, systolic blood pressure and high BMI.

Conclusion: Low referral by treating physician and lack of awareness among patient accounts for late presentation of diabetic patients to ophthalmologist. Beyond just developing strategies to promote screening programs for early detection and management of DR, education of the patients,comprehensive planning and coordination between ophthalmologist and physician can go a long way to decrease the economic and social burden of preventable blindness due to diabetic retinopathy.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Singh, B., Kaur, P., Singh, J., & Grang, P. (2021). Prevalence and associated risk factors for diabetic retinopathy at first ophthalmological contact. Asian Journal of Medical Sciences, 12(8), 118–124.



Original Articles