Tropical Journal of Health Sciences

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Risk factors for Diabetic Retinopathy among patients with Diabetes Mellitus in Ilorin, Nigeria

L.B. Olokoba, O.A. Mahmud, F.G. Adepoju, A.B. Olokoba


Diabetes mellitus increases the risk of eye diseases. Literature is scanty on the risk factors for diabetic retinopathy in Nigeria. This study aims to identify the risk factors for diabetic retinopathy among diabetic patients in Ilorin.This was a hospital-based cross-sectional study, carried out at the Diabetic and Ophthalmology clinics of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria from November 2011 to July 2012.

Questionnaires were administered to 365 diabetic patients to obtain information on socio-demographic characteristics, and diabetes mellitus. General physical and ocular examinations, and laboratory investigations were carried out.

Three hundred and sixty-five patients were recruited, with a mean age of 45.8 ±16.3 years. Of the 365 patients, 44 of them had diabetic retinopathy; 17(38.6%) had HbA1c equal or below 7.0%, while 27(61.4%) had HbA1c above 7.0%. There was a positive relationship between diabetic retinopathy and longer disease duration, glycosuria, proteinuria, and micro-albuminuria. (OR=0.36, p=0.039), (OR=0.23, p=0.0008), (OR=0.19, p=0.0007), and (OR=0.18, p=0.004) respectively.

However, there was no significant relationship between diabetic retinopathy and HbA1c, serum cholesterol, triglycerides, HDLc and LDLc levels. (OR=1.03, p=0.936), (OR=0.13, p=0.227), (OR=0.00, p=0.679), (OR=0.20, p=0.112), and (OR=0.72, p=1.000) respectively. There was also no significant relationship between diabetic retinopathy and systemic hypertension, obesity, and being on treatment for kidney disease (OR=0.82, p=0.541), (OR=0.92, p=0.815), and (OR=0.82, p=0.595) respectively.

In conclusion, longer disease duration, glycosuria, proteinuria, and micro-albuminuria were significantly associated with diabetic retinopathy. However, age, gender, type of diabetes, age at diagnosis of diabetes, degree of glycaemic control, serum lipids, systemic hypertension, obesity, presence of kidney disease and leg wound were not.

Keywords: Risk factors, Diabetic retinopathy, Diabetes mellitus, Nigerians

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