Rubino A, Rousculp MD, Davis KL, Wang J, Girach A. Diagnosed diabetic retinopathy in France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Prim Care Diabetes. 2007 Jun;1(2):75-80.

AIM:  The objective of this study was to describe the proportion and characteristics of patients diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy (DR) in France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom (UK).

METHIODS:  To estimate the proportion of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes diagnosed with DR, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of general practitioners in each country using physician records. In addition, diabetes specialists were recruited in Italy and Spain. We extracted data from the medical notes of a sample of DR patients to characterize DR severity and clinical characteristics.

RESULTS:  The average number of physicians per country was 41 (range: 34–49). The proportion of diagnosed DR ranged from 10.3% (95% CI, 6.7–14.0%) in Spain to 19.6% (95% CI, 16.0–23.1%) in the UK. Of 752 DR patients studied, 53.9% were male; mean age (±SD) was 64.2 ± 12.8 years. Consistently across countries, mild non-proliferative DR was the most common severity level of diagnosed DR. Proliferative DR (PDR) ranged from 19.7% (France) to 31.5% (UK). Diabetic macular oedema was reported in approximately 10% of patients. Hypertension (73.1%), dyslipidemia (63.2%), and neuropathy (52.1%) were the most common co-morbidities.

CONCLUSIONS:  Country-specific prevalence of diagnosed DR may reflect clinical management of diabetes, healthcare systems, or record-keeping accuracy. Across countries, up to 30% of DR patients had a diagnosis of PDR, which could suggest that patients are diagnosed only when their disease is advanced.

Share on: