Risk Factors for Retinopathy and DME in Type 2 Diabetes-Results from the German/Austrian DPV Database

PLoS One. 2015 Jul 15;10(7):e0132492. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132492. eCollection 2015.


To assess the prevalence and risk factors for early and severe diabetic retinopathy and macular edema in a large cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes Retinopathy grading (any retinopathy, severe retinopathy, diabetic macular edema) and risk factors of 64784 were prospectively recorded between January 2000 and March 2013 and analyzed by Kaplan-Meier analysis and logistic regression. Retinopathy was present in 20.12% of subjects, maculopathy was found in 0.77%. HbA1c > 8%, microalbuminuria, hypertension, BMI > 35 kg/m2 and male sex were significantly associated with any retinopathy, while HbA1c and micro- and macroalbuminuria were the strongest risk predictors for severe retinopathy. Presence of macroalbuminuria increased the risk for DME by 177%. Retinopathy remains a significant clinical problem in patients with type 2 diabetes. Metabolic control and blood pressure are relevant factors amenable to treatment. Concomitant kidney disease identifies high risk patients and should be emphasized in interdisciplinary communication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Austria
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / blood
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / etiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Macular Edema / blood
  • Macular Edema / epidemiology*
  • Macular Edema / etiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human

Grant support

This work was supported by the Kompetenznetz Diabetes mellitus (Competence Network for Diabetes mellitus) funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (FKZ 01GI1106). Additional funds were provided by the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.