Awareness of the Necessity of Regular Eye Examinations among Diabetics: The Yazd Eye Study

Marzieh Katibeh, Hamid Ahmadieh, Ramin Beiranvand, Reza Soleimanizad, Mohammad Ali Javadi


Background: Diabetic retinopathy and its consequence, diabetic macular edema, are leading causes of vision loss in diabetics and can develop even in the frst years after onset of diabetes. Being asymptomatic in primary phase and having compensatory effect of bilateral vision delay the necessity of eye care utilization. We conducted this study to determine diabetic individuals’ level of awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations.

Methods: As part of the cross‑sectional, population‑based, Yazd Eye Study on people aged 40–80 years, diabetic participants were identifed for enrollment in this research. Participants underwent thorough ophthalmic examinations as well as detailed interview. Well‑trained interviewers asked participants about their awareness of screening eye examinations and their necessity. Fasting blood sugar, glycated hemoglobin, and complete lipid profle were assessed. All descriptive and analytic tests were done in survey mode. Logistic regression was applied to assess related risk factors.

Results: Among 497 diabetic persons out of 2098 participants, 364 respondents (73.4%; 95% confdence interval: 68.6‑78.2) were not aware of the necessity of regular eye examinations. Among 133 aware respondents, 21 (16%) respondents had no eye examination over the past year. Educational level signifcantly correlated with awareness (P = 0.004), and physicians were the most frequent source of awareness (79.7%).

Conclusions: This study showed that a signifcant proportion of Yazd diabetic population (about 73%) needs to be informed about the necessity of regular eye examinations. The remaining respondents, who had this information, mainly had undergone regular ophthalmologist visits, which imply that educational interventions could improve the situation.

Keywords: Awareness, diabetes mellitus, diabetic retinopathy

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