International study shows global prevalence of diabetic retinopathy

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — An international study finds that the duration of diabetes and poor glycemic and blood pressure control are strongly associated with a higher prevalence in diabetic retinopathy, proliferative diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema and vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy. The research was presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology this week.

The results are based on a population-based study of pooled data from general and diabetic populations in the United States, Australia, Europe and Asia. Diabetic retinopathy was ascertained from fundus photography and pooled prevalence was age-sex standardized to the 2010 world diabetes populations. A total of 35 studies provided data from 22,896 diabetic subjects ages 3 – 97 years old.

Resulting data were used to estimate the following in 2010 (2030) globally: 100.8 (154.9) million people with diabetic retinopathy, 20.6 (31.7) million with proliferative diabetic retinopathy, 21.3 (32.8) million with diabetic macular edema and 33.4 (51.3) million with vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy. Research presenters concluded, “These data highlight the substantial public health impact of diabetes.”

Abstract Title: Global Prevalence of Diabetic Retinopathy: Pooled Data from Population Studies from the United States, Australia, Europe and Asia
Presentation Start/End Time: Wednesday, May 4, 2011; 4:15 – 4:30pm
Location: Grand H
Session Number: 471

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The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include more than 12,500 eye and vision researchers from over 80 countries. ARVO encourages and assists research, training, publication and knowledge-sharing in vision and ophthalmology. For more information, visit

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