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PREVALENCE OF DIABETIC RETINOPATHY IN THE UNITED STATES, 2011–2014

      Objectives

      With the increasing prevalence of diabetes, it is becoming the leading cause of impaired vision and blindness in the US adults, which is preventable by controlling blood sugar level, blood pressure and regular screening for early detection of diabetic retinopathy (DR). The objective of this study is to determine the current prevalence of DR among US adults aged 40 year or older.

      Methods

      The nationally representative population based survey sample data of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey year 2011 - 2012 and 2013 - 2014, (N = 1623) has been used. Diabetes was defined as a survey participants’ response to the question about pre diagnosed diabetes or glycohaemoglobin A1c level 6.5% or higher at the time of examination during survey. DR was determined based on self reported pre diagnosed status. The prevalence of DR has been weighted to represent the non institutionalized civilian US population aged 40 years or older.

      Results

      The estimated prevalence of DR among US adults with diabetes is 14.7% (95% Confidence Interval, 11.7% - 17.8%) and 2.5% (95% CI, 1.9% - 3.1%) among general population. The prevalence among male diabetes patients and among general US population is 16.1% (95% CI, 13.0% - 19.1%) and 2.9% (95% CI, 2.2% - 3.6%) respectively, while, in female group it is 13.4% (95% CI, 9.2% - 17.5%) and 2.1% (95% CI, 1.4% - 2.7%) respectively. The 40 to 64 years age group shows 1.9% (95% CI, 1.2% - 2.7%) in general and 13.9% (95% CI, 9.4% - 18.5%) in diabetic population. The age group of 65 years or older shows 3.7% (95% CI, 3.1% - 4.4%) in general and 16.0% (95% CI, 13.1% - 18.9%) in diabetic population.

      Conclusions

      The prevalence of DR estimated based on available NHANES data is quite high, which provides evidence for policy makers for prevention programs.