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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 50-54

Diabetic care initiatives to prevent blindness from diabetic retinopathy in India

1 Indian Institute of Public Health, Public Health Foundation of India; Department of Clinical Research, Public Health Eye Care and Disability, International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
2 L. V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
GVS Murthy
Indian Institute of Public Health, Public Health Foundation of India, ANV Arcade, 1 Amar Cooperative Society, Kavuri Hills, Madhapur, Hyderabad - 500 033, Telangana, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.178152

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It is estimated that 65 million (17%) of 382 million persons with diabetes mellitus (DM) globally reside in India. While globally 35% persons with DM have diabetic retinopathy (DR), this proportion is reportedly lower in India, other countries in South Asia and China. We reviewed published data from 2008 onwards from PubMed, which ascertained DR in population-based representative samples. We also reviewed the risk factors for DR, on awareness regarding eye complications and on accessing an eye examination. Thirteen research studies have reported on the prevalence of DR among persons with DM; this prevalence was lower than the global level in China, India, and Nepal. Eleven studies reported DR risk factors association. The duration of diabetes and level of glycemic control were universally acknowledged DR risk factors. We identified 7 studies in the Asia region that researched the level of awareness about diabetes eye complications and the practice of accessing an eye examination. Excepting 1 study in China, others reported a significant proportion being aware that diabetes leads to eye complications. But the awareness was not translated into a positive practice-most studies reported only 20–50% of the persons with diabetes actually having had their eyes examined. The present review highlights the observation that the risk factors for DR need an integrated diabetic care pathway where the eye care team has to work in close collaboration and partnership with a diabetic care team has to reduce the risk of blindness from DR.

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