Is there an ethnic difference in the effect of risk factors for diabetic retinopathy?

Ann Epidemiol. 1993 Jan;3(1):2-8. doi: 10.1016/1047-2797(93)90003-m.


Mexican Americans have an increased prevalence and incidence of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). In addition, Mexican American diabetic subjects have an increased prevalence of retinopathy relative to Caucasian diabetic subjects. In Mexican American diabetic subjects, established risk factors may have a stronger effect on diabetic retinopathy, compared to Caucasian diabetic subjects. In this report, we compare the effect of established risk factors (age at examination, gender, age at diagnosis of diabetes, duration of diabetes, glycemia, type of therapy, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and hypertension prevalence) between Caucasian diabetic subjects (n = 478), a low-risk population for NIDDM (Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy), and Mexican American diabetic subjects (n = 231), a high-risk population for NIDDM (San Antonio Heart Study). Retinopathy was classified into two categories (any or none) as assessed by seven standard stereoscopic retinal photographs read at the University of Wisconsin Reading Center. Mexican American diabetic subjects in Texas had an increased prevalence of any retinopathy (odds ratio = 1.71, 95% confidence interval: 1.25, 2.34), compared to Caucasian diabetic subjects in Wisconsin. Longer duration of diabetes, more severe glycemia, earlier age at diagnosis, and insulin therapy were associated with diabetic retinopathy in both Mexican Americans and Caucasians. Socioeconomic status was not associated with prevalence of retinopathy. Moreover, the effect of risk factors for retinopathy was similar in both ethnic groups.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / ethnology*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Wisconsin / epidemiology