In Italy, the number of people living with diabetes is about 3.5 million (5.5% of the population), with an increase by about 60% in the last 20 years and with 1 person out of 3 older than 65 years. The Italian Health Service system estimates that 10 billion euros is spent annually on caring for patients with diabetes, a figure that increases yearly. No national data on prevalence and incidence of legal blindness in patients with diabetes and no national registry of patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR) are currently available. However, the available epidemiological data (in several locations throughout the country) are consistent with those reported in other European countries. The use of telemedicine for the screening of DR in Italy is confined to geographically limited locations. The available data in the literature on implementation and use of telematic screening proved to be successful from patient, caregiver, and authorities point of view. This review addresses the available epidemiological data on DR and telematic screening realities in Italy and thus may help in establishing a national screening program.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism