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Prevalence and risk factors for diabetic retinopathy in north-central Nigeria

Rita O. Ewuga
Olukorede O. Adenuga
Patricia D. Wade
Jemimah O. Edah


Background: To determine the prevalence, pattern and risk factors of Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) among patients with Diabetes Mellitus (DM) in a tertiary hospital in north-central Nigeria.

Settings and Design: This was a hospital-based cross-sectional study conducted in Jos, north-central Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Consecutive adult patients with DM attending the endocrinology clinic who consented to the study were examined over a six-month period. Demographic data, duration of diabetes and history of any systemic disorder were obtained for each patient. A detailed ocular examination and fundus photography were performed and results of blood investigations such as Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG), Glycosylated Haemoglobin (HbA1c) and serum lipid profile were analysed. Data analysis was done with Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16.0 software.

Results: Three hundred and fifty-six patients were examined comprising of 120 (33.7%) males and 236 (66.3%) females giving a male to female ratio of 1:2. The mean age of the study population was 56.6 ± 12.3 years. Diabetic retinopathy and macular oedema were present in 66 (18.5%) and 51 (14.3%) patients respectively. Diabetes diagnosis of 10 years and above, FBG and HbA1c all had a statistically significant association with DR with p values <0.001.

Conclusion: The prevalence of DR was 18.5% in a hospital cohort of diabetic patients in north-central Nigeria with long duration of diabetes and poor glycaemic control being the major risk factors for retinopathy. These findings highlight the need for regular eye screening and good glycaemic control in individuals with diabetes in our environment. 


Funding: None declared

Keywords: Diabetic retinopathy, diabetes mellitus, macular oedema, prevalence, blindness