Real-World Screening for Retinopathy in Youth With Type 1 Diabetes Using a Nonmydriatic Fundus Camera

Tedious, Tiresome, and Dull: An Unrecognized Problem That We Can Solve

AbstractOBJECTIVE To assess the use of a portable retinal camera in diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening in multiple settings and the presence of associated risk factors among children, adolescents, and young adults with type 1 diabetes.DESIGN AND METHODS Five hundred youth with type 1 diabetes of at least 1 year’s duration were recruited from clinics, diabetes camp, and a diabetes conference and underwent retinal imaging using a nonmydriatic fundus camera. Retinal characterization was performed remotely by a licensed ophthalmologist. Risk factors for DR development were evaluated by a patient-reported questionnaire and medical chart review.RESULTS Of the 500 recruited subjects aged 9–26 years (mean 14.9, SD 3.8), 10 cases of DR were identified (nine mild and one moderate nonproliferative DR) with 100% of images of gradable quality. The prevalence of DR was 2.04% (95% CI 0.78–3.29), at an average age of 20.2 years, with the youngest affected subject being 17.1 years of age. The rate of DR was higher, at 6.5%, with diabetes duration >10 years (95% CI 0.86–12.12, P = 0.0002). In subjects with DR, the average duration of diabetes was 12.1 years (SD 4.6, range 6.2–20.0), and in a subgroup of clinic-only subjects (n = 114), elevated blood pressure in the year before screening was associated with DR (P = 0.0068).CONCLUSION This study in a large cohort of subjects with type 1 diabetes demonstrates that older adolescents and young adults (>17 years) with longer disease duration (>6 years) are at risk for DR development, and screening using a portable retinal camera is feasible in clinics and other locations. Recent elevated blood pressure was a risk factor in an analyzed subgroup.© 2020 by the American Diabetes Association

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