Research into the trends in incidence and prevalence of diabetic retinopathy

Post date: 
Thursday, 30 March 2017

New research investigating population trends in diabetic retinopathy (DR) published in BMJ Open.

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of visual impairment and blindness in the UK, particularly among working age people. In the UK, within 20 years of diagnosis, nearly all people with Type 1 and almost two thirds of people with Type 2 diabetes have some degree of retinopathy.

To enhance our understanding of diabetic retinopathy in the UK, RNIB commissioned the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to estimate the incidence and prevalence of DR.

This has been largest study to date on the burden of DR in the UK, and findings from the report have been published in BMJ Open. Prior to this research, there were no UK-wide population-based measures of incidence and prevalence.

Higher rates of deprivation and minority ethnic groups were found to be associated with a higher risk of severe DR. The research also found evidence of regional disparities which could be related to variations in screening program delivery.

Findings will have implications for professionals working in the diabetes and sight loss sectors, particularly to inform approaches for diagnosis of retinopathy and campaigning to better tackle the disease for at risk groups.

Go to the BMJ paper

Read the full report and key findings

Data analyst Emma Edwards discusses the findings and implications of the research for professionals working in the sight loss sector in our latest Expert series blog

Find out about the latest research from RNIB by signing up to our Research Updates