Impact of socioeconomic deprivation on the development of diabetic retinopathy: a population-based, cross-sectional and longitudinal study over 12 years

L. Low, J. P. Law, J. Hodson, R. Mcalpine, U. O'colmain, C. Macewen

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Abstract

Objective To study the association between socioeconomic deprivation and prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR).

Design Population-based, cross-sectional observational study and retrospective longitudinal analysis over 12 years.

Setting Primary care, East of Scotland.

Methods Outcome data from DR screening examinations (digital retinal photography) were collected from the Scottish regional diabetes electronic record from inception of database to December 2012. The overall Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2012 score for each patient was obtained using their residential postcode. Multiple binary logistic regression was used to analyse the relationship between overall SIMD score and prevalence of DR, adjusting for other variables: age, gender, glycated haemoglobin, cholesterol levels and duration of disease.

Primary outcome Any retinopathy (R1 and above) in either eye.

Results A total of 1861 patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) and 18 197 patients with type 2 DM were included in the study. Prevalence of DR in type 1 and type 2 DM were 56.3% and 25.5%, respectively. Increased prevalence of DR in type 1 DM was associated with higher overall SIMD score (p=0.002), with an OR for the most deprived relative to the least deprived of 2.40 (95% CI 1.36 to 4.27). In type 2 DM, the overall SIMD score was not significantly associated with increased prevalence of DR, with an OR for the most deprived relative to the least deprived of 0.85 (95% CI 0.71 to 1.02, p=0.07).

Conclusions Socioeconomic deprivation is associated with increased prevalence of DR in patients with type 1 DM and this occurs earlier. This highlights the need for targeted interventions to address inequalities in eye healthcare.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere007290
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ open
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2015

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