Study: Patients with diabetes may not receive care to prevent visual impairment, blindness
Patients with diabetes mellitus in the U.S. report that they are not getting the prompt care needed to prevent visual impairment and blindness, according to a study.
Seven hundred ninety-eight patients 40 years or older with diabetes mellitus and fundus photographs who participated in the 2005 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were included in the cross-sectional analysis; 512 patients had diabetes without diabetic retinopathy or DME, 238 had diabetic retinopathy without DME, and 48 had DME.
Only 44.7% of patients with DME said they were informed by a physician that they had retinopathy or that their eyes were affected by diabetes; 46.7% reported visiting a diabetes nurse educator, nutritionist or dietitian more than 1 year ago or never; and 59.7% reported having an eye examination with pupil dilation within the last year.
Based on visual acuity at the baseline examination, 28.7% of patients with DME were visually impaired, and 16% were visually impaired based on best corrected visual acuity.
“Our results suggest that many individuals with DME report not receiving prompt diabetes-related or eye-related care, although many of these individuals are at risk of substantial visual loss that could be lessened or eliminated with appropriate care,” the researchers wrote.
Disclosure: See the study for a full list of author affiliations.