Epidemiology of diabetic retinopathy in Egypt: a hospital-based study

Ophthalmic Res. 2011;45(2):73-8. doi: 10.1159/000314876. Epub 2010 Aug 12.


Purpose: To determine the prevalence and determinants of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in patients ≥18 years at the Cairo University and Sixth of October University hospitals.

Patients and methods: This is a cross-sectional survey among known diabetic patients attending diabetic clinics. Patients were randomly selected to complete an interviewer-administered questionnaire and a medical assessment. All patients had a dilated fundus examination for evidence of DR using slit-lamp biomicroscopy.

Results: A sample of 1,325 patients was selected with a mean age of 49 years (SD ±12.9). DR was found in 20.5% of patients. Most patients (82%) were not aware of the hazards of diabetes mellitus for the eyes. The prevalence of DR was statistically significantly higher in females (22 vs.17%, p < 0.05), with longer diabetes disease duration (p < 0.001), hypertension (p < 0.001) and absence of hypertension control (p < 0.001), especially proliferative DR. Increasing age and poor glycemic control were associated with a nonsignificant increase in the rate of DR (p = 0.340 and p = 0.444, respectively).

Conclusion: The prevalence of DR in our study population is 20.5%. Regular screening is highly recommended for early detection of DR where timely laser photocoagulation is known to reduce the risk of visual loss in these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology*
  • Egypt / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Young Adult