Purpose: To study the relationship between screening compliance and visual outcome in a screening programme for diabetic eye disease.
Methods: A retrospective case control study. The screening compliance of all the diabetes patients (n = 22) listed at the Icelandic National Registry for the Blind (visual acuity <0.3) was compared to a matched group of 44 non-blind diabetes patients (visual acuity > or =0.3) who participated in the same screening programme for diabetic retinopathy. Glycaemic control (HbA1c), office blood pressure and cholesterol levels were assessed.
Results: The study group had a significantly lower level of compliance with the screening programme (27% +/- 38% [mean +/- SD] versus 77% +/- 26% [mean +/- SD]; p < 0.0001). Macular oedema or proliferative diabetic retinopathy was found in 60% (13/22) of the study group when entering the screening programme, compared to 7% (3/44) in the control group. Blood pressure (except diastolic BP among type 1 diabetes mellitus), blood glucose and cholesterol levels were identical. The prevalence of blindness and low vision amongst diabetes patients in Iceland is about 0.5%.
Conclusions: There was a significant relationship between screening compliance and visual outcome in diabetes patients in our screening programme.