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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2013 Dec;102(3):218-24. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2013.10.016. Epub 2013 Nov 2.

Prevalence and factors associated with diabetic retinopathy in a Korean adult population: the 2008-2009 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Republic of Korea.



We examined the prevalence and factors associated with diabetic retinopathy (DR) in a Korean adult population.


Fundus examination data from 10,345 people in the fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2008 to 2009 were examined. For each participant, one 45° nonmydriatic digital retinal image, centered on the fovea, was taken per eye. DR was defined as the presence of one or more retinal microaneurysms or retinal blot hemorrhages with or without more severe lesions.


The weighted prevalence of DR was 0.9% (95% CI, 0.7-1.1) in a Korean adult population and 11.0% (95% CI, 8.9-13.6) in Korean adults with diabetes. In a logistic regression analysis, only HbA1c and diabetes duration were independently associated with DR; the other variables examined, including age, gender, exercise, current smoking, heavy alcohol drinking, presence of hypertension, total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, anti-lipid medication, oral anti-diabetes treatment, and insulin treatment, were not associated with DR.


According to these national survey data, 1 in 10 people with diabetes has diabetic retinopathy. Glycemic control is the most important factor for preventing retinopathy in patients with diabetes.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Diabetic retinopathy; Epidemiologic factors; Korea; Prevalence

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