Improving the screening of risk factors in diabetic retinopathy.
INTRODUCTION: In 2002, Diabetic Retinopathy was reported as the leading cause of blindness in the working age group. The introduction of systematic screening programs in the UK has reduced visual loss and blindness due to diabetic retinopathy, but it does still occur with catastrophic consequences for the individual. AREAS COVERED: The author conducted an ongoing search for articles relating to diabetic retinopathy since 2000 utilizing Zetoc Alert with keywords and contents page lists from relevant journals. This review covers the risk factors for loss of vision due to diabetic retinopathy and discusses ways in which the awareness of these risk factors can be used to further reduce visual loss. Some risk factors such as glycemic and B/P control are well known from landmark trials. This review has included these factors but concentrated more on the evidence behind those risk factors that are not so clearly defined or so well known. EXPERT OPINION: The major risk factors are well known, but one continues to find that people with diabetes lose vision in situations in which a better awareness of the risks by both the individual with diabetes and the health workers involved may have prevented the visual loss.