Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy at Parirenyatwa hospital
Maboreke, Nyasha Phanuel
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BACKGROUND: There is a global epidemic of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus causes a myriad of microvascular and macrovascular complications. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the main microvascular complications. It is preventable. However the extent of diabetic retinopathy in Zimbabwe is unknown. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study carried out on consenting participants, = 18years old at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals Diabetic Clinic. Retinopathy was assessed taking retinal photographs using an iExaminer ® which is a device comprising of a Welch Allyn Pan-optic, an indirect ophthalmoscope attached to an iPhone 4 using an adapter. Retinopathy was classified as: No Retinopathy, Non-proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy and Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy. RESULTS: 150 study participants were recruited with a mean age of 52.6 ± 16.4 years. The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was observed to be 38% (n = 57) with 30.7% (n = 46) having non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy and 7.3% (n = 11) with proliferative retinopathy. Significant risk factors for diabetic retinopathy were hypertension OR 2.8 (95% CI 1.23 – 6.42), p = 0.015; age O.R 1.02 (95% CI 1.00 -1.04), p = 0.048; Diet OR 4.71 (95% CI 1.80 – 12.34), p = 0.002 and Exercise OR 11.33 (95% CI 2.62 – 49.05), p = 0.001. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was 38%. Diabetic retinopathy is therefore common and largely unrecognised. Regular and appropriate easy to use screening methods are highly recommended for early detection of diabetic retinopathy so as to reduce progressive visual impairment.