Association between sociodemographic variables and awareness of diabetic retinopathy among type 2 diabetic patients

Kasim Yasar Kannappillil Muhammedali, V. Sahasranamam, Saji Nair Ambika


Background: Early detection of diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the most important factor in reducing the blinding complications due to diabetes. Study of the various socio-demographic factors affecting awareness of DR will help us to formulate effective screening programs for early detection. Objectives of the study were to find the sociodemographic determinants associated with awareness of DR and to evaluate the association of stage of DR with awareness about diabetic retinopathy.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among 384 patients who had been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus in various medical camps and diabetic clinics at Thiruvananthapuram. Socio demographic variables and awareness were assessed using structured self-administered questionnaire. Dilated fundus evaluation was done and retinopathy classified. Data entered to excel sheet and analysis done using statistical software (SPSS version 20).

Results: Among the 384 patients, 44.9% were diagnosed to have diabetic retinopathy. Among the diagnosed 41.6% had mild non proliferative DR (NPDR), 33.0% had moderate NPDR, 11.45% had severe NPDR. 13.4% of subjects were diagnosed to have proliferative DR. 53.1% of the subjects with diabetic retinopathy had clinically significant macular edema. There was no statistically significant association between the stage of DR to awareness. Among the socio demographic variables, significant positive association with level of awareness was obtained for duration of diabetes (OR=10.96; p=0.004)

Conclusions: Duration of diabetes was significantly associated with level of awareness. There was no statistically significant association between the stage of diabetic retinopathy to awareness. This signifies the urgent need to intensify our diabetic retinopathy awareness programs.


Diabetes, Diabetic retinopathy, Blindness

Full Text:



World Health Organization. Prevention of blindness from diabetes mellitus: report of a WHO consultation in Geneva, Switzerland, 2005. Geneva. 2006. Available at: Accessed on 15th November 2020.

Rema M, Pradeepa R. Diabetic retinopathy: An Indian perspective. Indian J Med Res. 2007;125:297-310.

Namperumalsamy P, Kim R, Kaliaperumal K, Sekar A, Karthika A, Nirmalan PK. A pilot study on awareness of diabetic retinopathy among non-medical persons in South India. The challenge for eye care programmes in the region. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2004;52:247.

International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes Atlas, 4th ed. International Diabetes Federation, 2009. Available from: Accessed on 4 March, 2009.

Ahuja M. Epidemiological studies on diabetes mellitus in India. In: Ahuja M, ed. Epidemiology of Diabetes in Developing Countries. New Delhi: Interprint. 1979;29-38.

Verma NP, Mehta SP, Madhu S, Mather HM, Keen H. Prevalence of known diabetes in an urban Indian environment: the Darya Ganj diabetes survey. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1986;293:423-4 .

Ramachandran A, Snehalatha C, Dharmaraj D, Viswanathan M. Prevalence of glucose intolerance in Asian Indians: urban – rural difference and significance of upper body adiposity. Diabetes Care. 1992;15:1348-55.

Ferris FL. Results of 20 years or research on the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Preventive Med. 1994;23:740-42.

Vashist P, Singh S, Gupta N, Saxena R. Role of early screening for diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetes mellitus: an overview. Indian J Community Med. 2011;36(4):247-252.

Dandona L. Population based assessment of diabetic retinopathy in an urban population in southern India. Br J Ophthalmol. 1999;83(8):937-40.

Dubey A, Maharana PK, Chauhan A, Ingle V et al. Awareness and Referral Patterns of Diabetic Retinopathy: A Hospital Based Study. J Clin Diag Res. 2017;11(10):NC10-12.

Hussain R, Rajesh B, Giridhar A, Gopalakrishnan M, Sadasivan S, James J et al. Knowledge and awareness about diabetes mellitus and diabetic retinopathy in suburban population of a South Indian state and its practice among the patients with diabetes mellitus: A population-based study. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2016;64(4):272-6.

Bakkar MM, Haddad MF, Gammoh YS. Awareness of diabetic retinopathy among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in Jordan. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2017;10:435-41.

Murugesan N, Snehalatha C, Shobhana R, Roglic G, Ramachandran A. Awareness about diabetes and its complications in the general and diabetic population in a city in southern India. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2007;77(3):433-7.

Saikumar S, Giridhar A, Mahesh G, Elias A, Bhat S. Awareness about eye diseases among diabetic patients: a survey in South India. Community Eye Health. 2007;20(61):16-7.