Prevalence of retinopathy in diabetic subjects from out-patient clinics in Lombardy (Italy), and associated risk factors A multicentre epidemiologic study

Paola Garancini, Piero Micossi, Paola Valsania, Giovanni Radaelli, Francesco Bandello, Antonio Scialdone, Ugo Menchini, Rosario Brancato, Guido Pozza, Giuseppe Gallus

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There is little information on the prevalence of diabetic complications in Italy. For this reason, a multicentre population-based study was carried out in 1983-1985 in 12 representative out-patient clinics for the treatment of diabetes in the Lombardy region. Out of a total population of 17 704 patients 1160 diabetic subjects were randomly selected within strata based on their duration of disease (≤ 5; 6-10; 11-20; > 20 years). Eight hundred and thirty-eight responders were examined using standardised protocols. The estimated prevalences (adjusted for duration of disease) for the total population involved in the study were 29.7% and 7.6% for background and proliferative retinopathy respectively. The overall standardised rates were higher in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) (53.6%) than in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) (34.7%) for both background (41.1%, 28.4% respectively) and proliferative (12.5%, 6.2% respectively) retinopathy, and increased with the duration of disease. The analysis of the relationship between diabetic retinopathy and the calculated risk factors did not show any association with hypertension or metabolic control, except for post-prandial blood glucose in subjects with durations 6-10 and > 20 years; an association with azotaemia was found in subjects with durations ≤ 5 and 11-20 years. Diabetic retinopathy appeared to be independently associated with the type of treatment and not with the type of diabetes, metabolic control, or hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 1989



  • (Diabetes mellitus)
  • Epidemiology
  • Retinopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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