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Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2011 Nov;30(5):408-14.

Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in Peruvian patients with type 2 diabetes: results of a hospital-based retinal telescreening program.

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Department of Medicine, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.



To estimate the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in patients with type 2 diabetes and to determine any association with clinical factors.


This hospital-based screening project was designed to prospectively detect the presence of DR in patients with type 2 diabetes by grading images acquired with a digital retinal camera.


Of 1 311 patients screened, appropriate retinal images were obtained in 1 222 subjects (93.2%). DR was detected in 282 patients (23.1%) [95% confidence interval (CI): 20.71-25.44]; 249 patients (20.4%) (95% CI: 18.1-22.6) had nonproliferative DR and 33 (2.7%) (95% CI: 1.8-3.6) had proliferative DR. In 32 patients (11.3%), DR was unilateral. The frequency of DR was the same in both sexes. Prevalence of blindness was twice as frequent in patients with DR as in those without it (9.4% and 4.6%, respectively) (P = 0.001). The frequency of DR at diagnosis was 3.5% and it increased with the duration of diabetes. DR was more frequent in patients with arterial hypertension, macrovascular or microvascular complications, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) > 7.0% and in those treated with insulin or sulfonylureas. It was less prevalent in those with HbA1c < 7.0%, with greater body mass index, and who had been treated with metformin.


The prevalence of DR in these patients with type 2 diabetes was 23.1%. Nonproliferative retinopathy accounted for 77.0% of cases. Although less prevalent than in a previous report, it doubled the frequency of blindness in the people affected. A national screening DR program should be considered in order to detect this prevalent condition early and treat it in a timely fashion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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