Loss to Follow up in Patients with Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Treated with Anti-VEGF Therapy and/or Panretinal Photocoagulation in the United States

Ophthalmol Retina. 2024 Apr 23:S2468-6530(24)00191-X. doi: 10.1016/j.oret.2024.04.016. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: To determine the rate of loss to follow up (LTFU) in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) treated with anti-VEGF therapy and/or panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) in the United States.

Design: Retrospective cohort study using the national IRIS® (Intelligent Research in Sight) Registry data.

Subjects: A total of 73 595 eyes of 56 590 patients with PDR diagnosed between 2013 and 2015 and treated between 2013 and 2018.

Methods: Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Main outcome measures: Loss to follow up was no follow up within 12 months from last treatment.

Results: For patient eyes treated for PDR, 11.7% (95% CI, 11.5-12.0) were LTFU. Among patients with PDR treated with anti-VEGF therapy alone, PRP alone, and anti-VEGF and PRP, the rates of LTFU were 12.3% (95% CI, 11.8-12.7), 12.6% (95% CI, 12.1-13.0), and 10.8% (95% CI, 10.4-11.1), respectively. Risk factors for LTFU include Black or African American race/ethnicity (odds ratio [OR], 1.26; 95% CI, 1.13-1.41; P < 0.001), Hispanic ethnicity (OR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.16-1.42; P < 0.001), Native American/Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander race/ethnicity (OR, 2.69; 95% CI, 2.14-3.38; P < 0.001), and unilateral disease (OR, 2.05; CI, 1.88-2.23; P < 0.001). Odds for LTFU were higher with patients with baseline vision of 20/50 to 20/200 (OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.15-1.36; P < 0.001) and with vision worse than 20/200 (OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.05-1.42; P = 0.01) than for patient eyes with a baseline visual acuity of 20/40 or better. Odds for LTFU were lower for Medicare Fee-for-Service (OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.64-0.79; P < 0.001) and Medicare Managed (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.56-0.78; P < 0.001) compared with private insurance. Odds for LTFU were lower for patients treated in the Midwest (OR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.64-0.81; P < 0.001) and West (OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.74-0.94; P = 0.003) compared with in the South region.

Conclusions: The rate of LTFU is between 10% and 12% among patients with PDR who were treated with anti-VEGF injections and/or PRP. Risk factors include Black or African American race/ethnicity, Hispanic ethnicity, baseline vision worse than 20/40, private insurance, South region, and unilateral disease.

Financial disclosure(s): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found in the Footnotes and Disclosures at the end of this article.

Keywords: Adherence; Anti-VEGF therapy; Loss to Follow up; Proliferative diabetic retinopathy; United States.