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Arch Fam Med. 1995 Jun;4(6):529-34.

Factors associated with having eye examinations in persons with diabetes.

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Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, USA.



To estimate compliance with guidelines on ocular examinations for diabetic persons, to examine factors that affect compliance, and to determine reasons for noncompliance.


Cross-sectional population study.


Primary care setting.


The population is 765 diabetic persons with younger onset and 533 with older onset who participated in the 1990 to 1992 follow-up examination of the Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy.


A medical history was taken in which subjects were asked about eye examinations by ophthalmologists and optometrists.


Sixty-four percent of the younger-onset group and 62% of the older-onset group had had a dilated eye examination in the previous year. Persons in both groups were more likely to have had a dilated examination if they had a longer duration of diabetes, more severe retinopathy, a history of glaucoma or cataract, and health insurance that covered eye examinations. Persons with younger-onset diabetes were more likely to have had an examination if they were older, were visually impaired, and had more education or higher income. Persons in the older-onset group were more likely to have had an examination if they were female or taking insulin. In those not having an eye examination, 79% and 71% of the younger- and older-onset groups, respectively, reported not having had one because they had no problems with their eyes, and 31% and 35% reported not having been told they needed one. Thirty-two percent and 11% said they were too busy, and 30% and 12% said they could not afford an examination.


Diabetic persons should be educated as to the need for eye care; the results show that barriers to eye care exist in the form of affordability and lack of time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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