Diabetic retinopathy and socioeconomic deprivation in Gloucestershire

J Med Screen. 2008;15(3):118-21. doi: 10.1258/jms.2008.008013.


Objectives: To investigate socioeconomic variations in diabetes prevalence, uptake of screening for diabetic retinopathy, and prevalence of diabetic retinopathy.

Methods: The County of Gloucestershire formed the setting of the study. A cross-sectional study of people with diabetes was done on a countywide retinopathy-screening database. Diabetes prevalence with odds ratios, uptake of screening, prevalence of any retinopathy and prevalence of sight-threatening retinopathy at screening were compared for different area deprivation quintiles. Logistic regression was used to adjust for confounding.

Results: With each increasing quintile of deprivation, diabetes prevalence increased (odds ratio 0.84), the probability of having been screened for diabetic retinopathy decreased (odds ratio 1.11), and the prevalence of sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy among screened patients increased (odds ratio of 0.98), while the prevalence of non-sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy remained unchanged with each increasing quintile of deprivation.

Conclusion: Sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy was associated with socioeconomic deprivation, but non-sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy was not. Uptake of screening was inversely related to socioeconomic deprivation.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / physiopathology
  • England / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Severity of Illness Index