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Publication | Diabetic Retinopathy

Dr. Ebtisam K. Al Alawi Ophthalmology Department, Salmaniya Medical Center

Diabetes retinopathy is a leading cause of visual disability and blindness in working age group. Laser photocoagulation has been proven to educe blindness from this disorder by at least 60% . The effectiveness of this treatment suggest that there is a potential for national screening program to bring about a major reduction in blindness from thus cause.

We had estimated that the number of individuals to be screen for diabetic retinopathy is 23,200 people and 928 diabetic will need treatment with an additional of 116-cases/ year.

The available data indicates that screening program for diabetic retinopathy is feasible and justified to prevent blindness and should rate same priority as to screen for cancer / Initial investment in professional and material resources is needed for this program . The collaborative effort between primary care, ophthalmologists and the diabetic association in Bahrain is vital for the successful implementation of this program.

Screening For Diabetic Retinopathy (Review)

Ebtisam Al-Alawi, FRCS, MRCOphth, DO

Diabetic retinopathy is a major public health problem in the developed as well as the developing countries. It is a leading cause of blindness and visual disability during adult working life. Diabetic retinopathy is a vascular complication of both type I and II diabetes. By definition, type I diabetes is insulin dependent (IDDM) and type II is non-insulin department (NIDDM) .By 20 years after the onset of diabetes , nearly all patients with type I diabetes , and more than 60% of type II diabetes will have some degree of retinopathy (1,2).
Data on IDDM are scarce and the available data suggests variable prevalence of IDDM . The overall prevalence rate of NIDDM in this region is estimated to range from 4-10% using various different criteria (3) .In the East Mediterranean region with a population of 380 million , the number of diabetics may be estimated at between 15-38 million (4).
There is high susceptibility of some population groups in the region to NIDDM due to environmental and diabetic factors. Currently not all diabetic patients are examined and treated by ophthalmologists. Diabetic patients can be symptomatic despite significant progress of diabetic retinopathy.21% of patients with type II diabetes have been recently found to have retinopathy at the time of I diabetes vision threatening retinopathy does not appear in the first 8 years after the onset of diabetes, nor before puberty.

The Bulletin Of the Arab Group study of Diabetes 1995:4(1)
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