Review of the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in Indigenous Australians

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Kaidonis, Georgia
Mills, Richard Arthur
Landers, John
Lake, Stewart
Burdon, Kathryn Penelope
Craig, Jamie E
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The purpose of this review is to compare the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR) between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians with Diabetes Mellitus (DM). Australian DR prevalence data from 6 Indigenous studies (n = 2865) and 5 non-Indigenous studies (n = 9801) conducted between 1985 and 2013 were included for analysis. Estimated prevalence of any DR among Indigenous Australians with DM was 23.4% compared with 28.9% for non-Indigenous Australians (χ2 = 26.9, P < 0.001). In studies performed after 1990, a significantly higher rate of diabetic macular edema was found in Indigenous compared with non-Indigenous Australians with DM (7.6% versus 4.9%, χ2 = 6.67, P = 0.01). Although there are limitations in comparing these studies, one explanation for the observed data could be a model in which Indigenous Australians are relatively resistant to early stage DR, but with a subset progressing to sight threatening DR due to individual genetic and environmental susceptibility factors coupled with poor glycemic control.
Author version made available in accordance with Publisher copyright policy.
Kaidonis, G., Mills, R. A., Landers, J., Lake, S. R., Burdon, K. P. and Craig, J. E. (2014), Review of the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in Indigenous Australians. Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology, 42: 875–882. doi: 10.1111/ceo.12338