Systematic screening for diabetic retinopathy (DR) in Hong Kong: Prevalence of DR and visual impairment among diabetic population

Jinxiao Lian, Rita A. Gangwani, Sarah M. McGhee, Christina K.W. Chan, Cindy Lo Kuen Lam, David Sai Hung Wong

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose To determine the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR), sight threatening DR (STDR), visual impairment and other eye diseases in a systematic DR screening programme among primary care Chinese patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) in Hong Kong. Methods Screening for DR was provided to all subjects with DM in public primary care using digital fundus photography according to the English national screening programme. STDR was defined as preproliferative DR (R2), proliferative DR (R3) and/or maculopathy (M1). The presence of other eye diseases was noted. Visual impairment was classified as none (visual acuity in the better eye of 6/18 or better), mild (6/18 to >6/60) and severe (6/60 or worse). Results Of 174 532 subjects screened, most had never been screened before. The prevalence of DR was 39.0% (95% CI 38.8% to 39.2%) and STDR 9.8% (95% CI 9.7% to 9.9%). The most common DR status was R1 (35.7%), followed by M1 (8.6%), R2 (3.0%) and R3 (0.3%). The prevalence of mild and severe visual impairment was 4.2% and 1.3%, respectively. Subjects with STDR had a higher prevalence (9.8%) of visual impairment than those without (3.5%). Conclusions DR was prevalent in this population and one in 10 had STDR. This suggests the need for systematic screening to ensure timely referral to an ophthalmologist for monitoring and/or treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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