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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2009 Feb;247(2):267-72. doi: 10.1007/s00417-008-0960-y. Epub 2008 Oct 17.

Diabetic retinopathy and health-related quality of life.

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University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.



To describe the impact of co-morbidities, visual acuity, diabetic retinopathy (DR) grade, and macular edema (ME) on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among patients with diabetic retinopathy.


Analysis of data of 207 patients with diabetic retinopathy from Germany in 2003. HRQOL assessment was done using the generic (SF-12) questionnaire. It was hypothesized that exogenous variables (co-morbidities, visual acuity impairment, DR, and ME) would have an impact on HRQOL. Using a structural equation modelling procedure, the effects of exogenous variables on endogenous variables physical component summaries (PSC) and mental component summaries (MCS) reflecting HRQOL were tested.


The number of co-morbidities had a negative effect on visual acuity (b = -0.26, standardized) and a similar negative effect on PCS (b = -0.27). DR grade had a negative effect on visual acuity (b = -0.19) and a positive effect on the variable ME (b = 0.44). ME displayed a negative effect on visual acuity (b = -0.58) and also on MCS (b = -0.29). Visual acuity had a positive effect (b = 0.48) on PCS.


Presence of DR and ME, visual acuity impairment and patient co-morbidities lead to significant impairment of both the physical and mental components of HRQOL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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