Monday, May 30, 2022

Prediabetes and Retinopathy

 Retinopathy is a disease of the retina. There are various forms of the disease. For example, there is hypertensive retinopathy and there is diabetic retinopathy. Treatment and prevention of these diseases involves controlling  high blood pressure and blood glucose levels. And of course, a yearly eye exam is critically important for those persons with retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of the disease. And this type of retinopathy is one of the principal causes of vision loss worldwide. At least two studies have linked prediabetes to a high level of retinopathy.

Prediabetes is where there is a higher than normal level of glucose in the blood, but the elevated level is not high enough to be deemed diabetes. For some time, it was known that prediabetes was often followed by diabetes. So, a study was designed to look into the progression from prediabetes to diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program trial was done between 1996 and 2001. The researchers looked at how prediabetes could lead to diabetes. It was found that prediabetes raises the risk of type 2 diabetes, and treating prediabetes could delay or prevent type 2 diabetes is many cases.

Further investigation into the incidence of retinopatyh among persons with prediabetes was done after the original Diabetes Prevention Program study. The researchers looked at a subset of the participants in the original study. There were 3224 participants in the original Diabetes Prevention Program study. The subset consisted of 302 participants. The researchers "found detectable retinopathy in 7.6% of patients," who had prediabetes. So, retinopathy can be associated with prediabetes.

In another study, to determine a relationship between retinopathy and prediabetes, researchers examined articles in MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, Web of Science, CINAHL, Google Scholar and the Cochrane databases. After examining 5994 abstracts and 98 full-text articles, the researchers chose twenty-four studies for their analysis. The twenty-four studies consisted of 8759 participants with prediabetes. The researchers concluded that there was a 6.6% rate of retinopathy among persons with prediabetes compared with 3.2% for populations with normal levels of blood glucose.

The above studies indicate that healthcare providers may want to examine the eyes of patients with prediabetes. The providers may detect early signs of retinopathy. And this would be beneficial to the patient and the provider.


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