An apparent epidemic of diabetes is occurring in adults worldwide. This trend seems to be associated with socioeconomic and lifestyle changes. The population of developing countries and some communities within developing countries are at higher risk. Diabetic eye disease and its complications, especially diabetic retinopathy, are a leading cause of blindness and visual dysfunction in adults in economically developed societies. Epidemiological studies of the impact of diabetic eye disease in developing countries are scarce. Risk factors for the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy include, among others, hyperglycemia, genetic factors, race, duration of the disease, arterial hypertension, and proteinuria.