Diabetic Retinopathy in a Multi-ethnic Cohort in the United States

Tien Yin Wong, Ronald Klein, F. M Amirul Islam, Mary Frances Cotch, Aaron R. Folsom, Barbara E K Klein, A. Richey Sharrett, Steven Shea

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• PURPOSE: To describe the prevalence and risk factors of diabetic retinopathy in a multi-ethnic US population of whites, blacks, hispanics, and chinese. • DESIGN: Cross-sectional study of 778 individuals from ages 45 to 85 years with diabetes, participating in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). • METHODS: Retinal photographs were obtained with a 45°nonmydriatic digital fundus camera. Presence and severity of diabetic retinopathy were graded at a central reading center on the basis of a modification of the Airlie House classification system. All participants underwent a standardized interview, examination, and laboratory investigations. • RESULTS: In this population with diabetes, the prevalence of any retinopathy was 33.2% and macular edema 9.0%. The prevalence of any diabetic retinopathy and macular edema was significantly higher in blacks (36.7% and 11.1%) and hispanics (37.4% and 10.7%) than in whites (24.8% and 2.7%) and chinese (25.7% and 8.9%) (P = .01 and P = .007, comparing racial/ethnic differences for retinopathy and macular edema, respectively). Significant independent predictors of any retinopathy were longer duration of diabetes, higher fasting serum glucose, use of diabetic oral medication or insulin, and greater waist-hip ratio. Race was not an independent predictor of any retinopathy. • CONCLUSIONS: This study provides contemporary data on the prevalence of and risk factors for diabetic retinopathy among whites, blacks, hispanics, and chinese participating in the MESA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-455.e1
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by contracts N01-HC-95159 through N01-HC-95165 and N01-HC-95169 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. A full list of participating MESA investigators and institutions is available at http://www.mesa-nhlbi.org . Additional support was provided by National Institutes of Health grants HL69979-03 (R.K. and T.Y.W.). The funding agencies had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; and preparation, review, or approval of the article in manuscript.


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