Send to

Choose Destination
Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):402-9. doi: 10.1080/09286580802435179.

Prevalence and risk factors of diabetic retinopathy in a multi-racial underserved population.

Author information

San Francisco, Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.



To describe the prevalence, severity, and associated risk factors of diabetic retinopathy among different racial groups (whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians) within an urban, underserved population.


2-field non-mydriatic retinal photographs of each eye were reviewed for 1073 patients referred to the San Francisco General Hospital mobile eye service, the Eye Van, for diabetic retinopathy screening. Presence and severity of diabetic retinopathy was determined based on a modification of the Airlie House classification system.


The prevalence of any retinopathy among all diabetics was 15.7%. There was no statistical difference in the prevalence of retinopathy among the racial groups. Significant independent predictors of presence and severity of retinopathy were longer duration of diabetes, and use of oral hypoglycemic medication or insulin (P < 0.05). Gender, age, primary language, income, and co-diagnosis of hypertension were not correlated.


In this population of similar socioeconomic status and access to healthcare, race was not an independent predictor of diabetic retinopathy. This suggests that racial differences described in previous studies may be eliminated when social factors are equalized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center