Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes is becoming increasingly common in industrialized and even developing countries.  A serious and irreversible complication of diabetes–diabetic retinopathy (DR)–could impact as many as 191 million people around the globe by 2030. Despite the fact that DR is a leading cause of vision loss around the world, as many as 50% of people with diabetes are not getting regular eye exams, or are diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective.  The diabetic retinopathy fact sheet was released on May 19th during a webcast.  Click here to read the transcript, see the slides, and listen to the webcast audio.

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    • DR Treatment Savings in the US
      Every year, the U.S. saves an estimated $1.6 billion by treating DR.  
    • Economics of DR Treatment
      Laser treatment plus a VEGF inhibitor achieved an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $12,410 per quality adjusted life year in patients with DME.  
    • Mobile Exam for DR
      Use of a mobile examination for DR screening in Finland decreased visual impairment by 86% in the covered area.  
    • Remote Interpretation of Retinal Imaging for DR
      Use of remote interpretation of retinal imaging in diabetics sent via tele-ophthalmology, improved the frequency of screening from 32% to 71% in only 12 months.  
    • Tele-ophthalmology
      Adequately trained general practitioners can screen for DR with 90% sensitivity using tele-ophthalmology.  
    • Blood Pressure Control in Patients with Diabetes
      Tight blood pressure control in type 2 diabetes patients reduced progression of DR by 34% and risk of deterioration by 47% after 9 years.  
    • Anti-VEGF Letter Improvement
      An anti-VEGF therapy for DME improved vision by more than 15 letters in approximately 36-51% of participants in a trial.  
    • Anti-VEGF Visual Improvement
      Nearly 50% of DME patients who received an anti-VEGF drug, experienced substantial visual improvement after a year of injections.  
    • Laser Treatment for DR
      Laser treatment of PDR can reduce the 5-year risk of blindness by 90%, and the risk of visual loss from DME by 50%.  
    • Intensive Glycemic Control in People with Diabetes
      Intensive glycemic control in diabetics reduced their: Adjusted mean risk of DR by 76% Risk of progression by 54% Rates of laser surgery by 56% Risk of DME by 23%    
    • DR Treatment Reduced Risk of Blindness
      Appropriate treatment can reduce the risk of blindness or moderate vision loss from DR by more than 90%.  
    • Future Impact of DR
      The rise of DR will disproportionately impacting the poorest populations, since 80% of people with diabetes live in low-middle income countries.  
    • People Affected Worldwide by DR
      By 2030, more than 191 million people around the world will be affected by DR—56 million with vision-threatening DR.  
    • Annual Direct and Indirect Costs of Diabetic Retinopathy
    • DR Quality of Life
      A quality of life survey of legally blind DR patients found that 41% would be willing to trade their remaining years for perfect vision.  
    • Percent of Blindness in 2010 Due to DR by Region
    • World Blindess from DR
    • DR, A Leading Cause of Blindess
      DR is the one of the leading causes of blindness.  
    • Prevalence of Diabetic Retinopathy by Age, in the US
    • Global DR Prevalence
      The overall prevalence of global DR is 34.6%—6.96% for PDR, 6.81% for DME, and 10.2% for vision-threatening DR.  
    • Risk of DR
      The risk of DR increases the longer a person has diabetes.  More than 75% of people who have diabetes for more than 20 years will have some form of DR.  
    • Global DR Prevalence
      DR affects more than 126 million people around the world— 37 million with vision-threatening DR.  
    • Proportion of People with Diabetes with Diabetic Retinopathy of Any Severity, by Country
      Map figures are for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.