August 15, 2014
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DME prevalence linked to race, duration of diabetes

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The prevalence of diabetic macular edema correlated strongly with race, duration of diabetes and blood glucose level, according to study results.

Researchers analyzed retinal photographs for 1,038 diabetic patients 40 years of age and older who were included in the 2005 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Diabetes status, retinal thickness and demographic data were also evaluated.

Results showed that 55 of the 1,038 patients had DME, which corresponded to an overall prevalence of 3.8%, or approximately 746,000 people among the U.S. population aged 40 years and older, according to the researchers.

The researchers found that age and sex had no influence on the prevalence of DME; however, prevalence was higher in non-Hispanic blacks than in non-Hispanic whites, as well as in patients who had diabetes for at least 10 years and in those with elevated hemoglobin A1c levels.

The prevalence of DME was also higher in Hispanics than in non-Hispanic whites, but the difference was insignificant, according to the researchers.

Disclosure: See the study for a full list of all authors’ relevant financial disclosures.