The 5-year onset and regression of diabetic retinopathy in Chinese type 2 diabetes patients

PLoS One. 2014 Nov 17;9(11):e113359. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113359. eCollection 2014.


Purpose: To determine the rate and risk factors of diabetic retinopathy (DR) onset and regression in Chinese type 2 diabetes mellitus patients.

Methods: This is a 5-year community-based prospective study. The demographic information, systemic examination results and ophthalmological test results of each participant were collected. The study outcomes were DR incidence, defined as the onset of DR in at least one eye, and DR regression, defined as full regression from existing DR to no retinopathy without invasive treatments. The associations between each potential risk factor and the outcomes were studied.

Results: In total, 778 participants were enrolled. There were 322 patients without DR at baseline, of which 151 participants developed DR during follow-up (DR incidence rate = 46.89%). Baseline hyperglycemia and high blood pressure were two independent risk factors associated with DR incidence. Among the 456 participants with existing DR at entry, 110 fully recovered after 5 years (DR regression rate = 24.12%). Low baseline glucose and low serum triglyceride were two independent factors associated with DR regression.

Conclusions: DR incidence occurred more frequently in patients with hyperglycemia and high blood pressure. DR regression occurred mostly in patients with lower glucose and lower serum triglyceride levels among Chinese type 2 diabetes patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • China / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / etiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / physiopathology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Incidence
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Insulin

Grants and funding

This work was funded by the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation (Project number 81371069), the Shanghai Pujiang Program (Project number PJ (2012) 0001652), and the Shanghai New Hundred Talents Program from the Shanghai Medical and Family Planning Committee (Project number 13B141). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.