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In Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity : targets and therapy

Purpose : To investigate the prevalence and associated factors of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and advanced DR in Chinese adults with diabetes mellitus (DM).

Patients and Methods : A cross-sectional study was performed on 4831 diabetic patients from 24 hospitals from April 2018 to July 2020. Non-mydriatic fundus of patients were interpreted by an artificial intelligence (AI) system. Fundus photos that were unsuitable for AI interpretation were interpreted by two ophthalmologists trained by one expert ophthalmologist at Beijing Tongren Hospital. Medical history, height, weight, body mass index (BMI), glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), blood pressure, and laboratory examinations were recorded.

Results : A total of 4831 DM patients were included in this study. The prevalence of DR and advanced DR in the diabetic population was 31.8% and 6.6%, respectively. In multiple logistic regression analysis, male (odds ratio [OR], 1.39), duration of diabetes (OR, 1.05), HbA1c (OR, 1.11), farmer (OR, 1.39), insulin treatment (OR, 1.61), region (northern, OR, 1.78; rural, OR, 6.96), and presence of other diabetic complications (OR: 2.03) were associated with increased odds of DR. The factors associated with increased odds of advanced DR included poor glycemic control (HbA1c >7.0%) (OR, 2.58), insulin treatment (OR, 1.73), longer duration of diabetes (OR, 3.66), rural region (OR, 4.84), and presence of other diabetic complications (OR, 2.36), but overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2) (OR, 0.61) was associated with reduced odds of advanced DR.

Conclusion : This study shows that the prevalence of DR is very high in Chinese adults with DM, highlighting the necessity of early diabetic retinal screening.

Liu Jiang, Hu Hao, Qiu Shanhu, Wang Duolao, Liu Jianing, Du Ziwei, Sun Zilin


artificial intelligence, diabetes mellitus, glycemic control, rural region, screening