Hong Kong Med J 2005;11:438-44 | Number 6, December 2005
Epidemiological study of diabetic retinopathy in a primary care setting in Hong Kong
TKW Tam, CM Lau, LCY Tsang, KK Ng, KS Ho, TC Lai
Professional Development and Quality Assurance, Department of Health, 2/F Ngautaukok Jockey Club Clinic, 60 Ting On Street, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To estimate the prevalence and risk factors of diabetic retinopathy in type 2 diabetic patients, and to investigate the difference in retinopathy progression in patients with normal fundi or established retinopathy at baseline and the risk factors implicated in the progression.
DESIGN. Retrospective community-based study.
SETTING. Ten primary care clinics in Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. Type 2 diabetic patients; subsidiary analysis included subjects with more than one screening event.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Patient demographics, baseline prevalence, and risk factors of diabetic retinopathy; progression of retinopathy in patients with normal fundi and established retinopathy at baseline, and the associated risk factors.
RESULTS. A total of 6165 patients were recruited from January 1998 to May 2004. Primary analysis included 4423 patients with good-quality retinal photographs. The mean age of the patients was 60.36 years (standard deviation, 10.80 years; range, 28-94 years), the mean duration of diabetes was 4.71 years (standard deviation, 4.67 years; range, 0.1-40.6 years), and the mean level of glycated haemoglobin was 7.47% (standard deviation, 1.44%). The prevalence of retinopathy at baseline was 28.4%. Subsidiary analysis showed progression to sight-threatening retinopathy was more common in the group with baseline retinopathy than that without (7.9% vs 0.7%), and occurred at a faster rate (mean, 1.5 [range, 0.5-3.0] vs 2.0 [1.0-4.2] years). Logistic regression revealed that the level of glycated haemoglobin was positively associated with both the onset (P<0.001) and progression of retinopathy (P=0.03).
CONCLUSION. Optimal glycaemic control is important for reducing sight-threatening retinopathy. Close observation is required for patients with established retinopathy as progression occurs more rapidly.
Key words: Diabetic retinopathy; Disease progression; Prevalence; Primary health care; Risk factors
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