Prevalence and relationship between diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy, and its risk factors in the North-East of Spain, a population-based study

Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2010 Aug;17(4):251-65. doi: 10.3109/09286586.2010.498661.


Purpose: To determine the prevalence of microangiopathy, and its risk factors in a population-based study of diabetes mellitus patients in the north-eastern area of Spain.

Methods: A population-based transversal study of 8,187 type 2 (83.37% of the diagnosed patients) and 488 type 1 (85.76% of the diagnosed patients) underwent a detailed medical history that included: diagnoses of diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, microalbuminuria or overt nephropathy. A study of its risk factors, and the relationship between diabetic retinopathy and renal lesion was performed.

Results: In type 1 diabetes patients we observed a prevalence of 36.47% of diabetic retinopathy and 5.73% with macular edema; in type 2 diabetes patients the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was 26.11% and 6.44% with macular edema. Microalbuminuria prevalence was 25.61% in type 1 and 17.78% in type 2 patients, and overt nephropathy prevalence was 8.60% in type 1 and 6.74% in type 2 diabetic patients. The risk factors for diabetic retinopathy were: diabetes duration, high glycosylated level, and arterial hypertension, and insulin treatment in type 2. The Total-cholesterol/High Density-cholesterol (TC/HDL) ratio and triglycerides were significant for diabetic macular edema (DME). Microalbuminuria and overt nephropathy were well correlated to diabetes duration, arterial hypertension and glycosylated haemoglobin.

Conclusions: Prevalence and risk factors for microangiopathy are similar to other studies, and the important finding is that the TC/HDL ratio was significant for DME. Microalbuminuria is a risk factor for diabetic retinopathy in type 1 diabetes mellitus patients but not for type 2. Overt nephropathy is well correlated with diabetic retinopathy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Albuminuria / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macular Edema / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Visual Acuity