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Awareness of diabetic retinopathy among diabetics in a tertiary care center

Author: 
: Sumana J Kamath, Sanchitha, G., Nikhilgovind Shenoy
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) and its complications are one of the major health problems in developing world. Diabetic retinopathy(DR) is one of the leading cause of ocular morbidity. Awareness of DR among patients can reduce its complications. Methods: A cross sectional observational study was conducted at the department of ophthalmology, Kasturba medical college, Mangalore. A total of 101 patients with pre-existing diabetes were included in the study. The study duration was from June 15th, 2016 to 31st December of 2016. An 11-point questionnaire was used to collect data including demographics, duration of disease, awareness of ocular complications and presence of ocular symptoms. Results: 60 patients (59.4%) out of 101 had awareness that screening was necessary for DR, whereas 41 (40.6%) were unaware of necessity of screening for DR. The source of awareness were exclusively doctors in majority of patients (n=46). Statistically significant association was seen between literacy and awareness regarding screening for DR (‘p’ value=0.009). Significant association was seen between control of diabetes and eye problems (‘p’ = 0.005). There was no statistically significant relationship between duration of disease and presence of eye symptoms. Conclusions: There is a need for awareness of DR among patients to minimize ocular complications. Health care personnel along with including internet and television have a major role in spreading awareness but role of mass media. Also, improvement in health care system is necessary for prevention/treatment of diabetes related complications.

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