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J Korean Med Sci. 2013 Jun;28(6):814-20. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2013.28.6.814. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Factors associated with diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy screening in Korea: the Third and Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES III and IV).

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  • 1Institute of Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


This cross-sectional study was done to identify and determine the socio-demographic and health-related factors associated with diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy screening in Korea. Participants included 2,660 adults, aged 40 or older, with diabetes. Of the 2,660 adults, 998 (37%) and 1,226 (46.1%) had received a diabetic retinopathy and a nephropathy screening within one year, respectively. Regarding retinopathy, subjects older than 65, living in urban areas, with high educational levels, and with self-reported "unhealthy" status were likely to receive annual screening. Subjects living in urban areas, with higher educational levels, with self-reported "fair" or "unhealthy" status, and with 1 to 2 co-morbidities were likely to receive annual nephropathy screening. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) continued to rise until 2007 when it started to decline over the subsequent years, following the same curve as the diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy screening rates during that time. Together with the financial matter, lack of patient education proved to be a hindrance to diabetes-related screening. The relatively low screening rates in Korea compared to the Western countries are likely to be due to the difference in the health system, economic situations and national demographics.


Diabetes Care; Diabetes Complications; Diabetic Nephropathy; Diabetic Retinopathy; Economic Crisis; KNHANES

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