Meeting News Coverage

Modifiable risk factors affect grade, progression of diabetic retinopathy

Peter Scanlon, MD
Peter Scanlon

LONDON — Progression vs. control of diabetic retinopathy is closely related to a number of factors, many of which are modifiable, a clinician said here.

"Attendance at screening programs and the number of reminders for attendance were found to be strictly correlated with the grade of retinopathy in Somerset, U.K. In Gloucestershire, U.K., sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy was found to be present more frequently in the most deprived socio-economic groups, who were also the least likely to attend for screenings," Peter Scanlon, MD, said at the Euretina meeting.

Additional modifiable risk factors are glycemic index, blood pressure and lipid control. The impact of smoking is controversial, Dr. Scanlon said.

"There are also psychological aspects that can heavily affect the risk of advanced diabetic retinopathy. Eating disorders in women with type 1 diabetes can be devastating, as they refuse to stick to the appropriate diet. Denial of the disease inevitably leads to refusal to treat it. I had a patient who had not told her partner of 11 years that she had diabetes. Needle phobia can be a strong impediment to treatment too," he said.

  • Disclosures: Dr. Scanlon has no relevant financial disclosures.
Peter Scanlon, MD
Peter Scanlon

LONDON — Progression vs. control of diabetic retinopathy is closely related to a number of factors, many of which are modifiable, a clinician said here.

"Attendance at screening programs and the number of reminders for attendance were found to be strictly correlated with the grade of retinopathy in Somerset, U.K. In Gloucestershire, U.K., sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy was found to be present more frequently in the most deprived socio-economic groups, who were also the least likely to attend for screenings," Peter Scanlon, MD, said at the Euretina meeting.

Additional modifiable risk factors are glycemic index, blood pressure and lipid control. The impact of smoking is controversial, Dr. Scanlon said.

"There are also psychological aspects that can heavily affect the risk of advanced diabetic retinopathy. Eating disorders in women with type 1 diabetes can be devastating, as they refuse to stick to the appropriate diet. Denial of the disease inevitably leads to refusal to treat it. I had a patient who had not told her partner of 11 years that she had diabetes. Needle phobia can be a strong impediment to treatment too," he said.

  • Disclosures: Dr. Scanlon has no relevant financial disclosures.

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