Objective: Our aim was to determine the prevalence and the risk factors for diabetic retinopathy (DR) in a cohort of type II diabetic patients in Lebanon. Design: Prospective observational cohort study. Participants: Five hundred consecutive patients with type II diabetes mellitus followed at the American University of Beirut Medical Center diabetes clinic were enrolled in the study. Methods: All patients 18 years or older with diabetes mellitus who did not have gestational diabetes and who were able to complete the laboratory data and the retinal examination were invited to participate in the study; they were followed up for a period of 3 years. Results: DR was present in 175 patients (35%), 130 (26%), and 45 (9%) having nonproliferative and proliferative DR, respectively. Clinically significant macular edema was present in 42 patients (8%). Microvascular and macrovascular diabetic complications, duration of disease, glycemic control, presence of hypertension (p < 0.003), systolic blood pressure (p = 0.04), and insulin use (p < 0.001) were individually significantly associated with a higher prevalence of DR on bivariate analysis. However, on multivariate regression analysis, only glycosylated hemoglobin >7% (odds ratio [OR] 2.81, 95% CI 1.06-7.43, p = 0.038), duration of diabetes (per 10 years, OR 9.0, 95% CI 4.0-20.0, p < 0.001), macroalbuminuria (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.14-5.96 p = 0.023), and systolic blood pressure (per 10 mm Hg, OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.0-1.56, p = 0.037) were independent risk factors for DR. Conclusions: The elevated prevalence of DR in type II diabetic patients with high risk profiles calls for early medical intervention and education about DR and its identified controllable risk factors.
- Type II diabetes
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