Purpose: Regular eye examinations and early treatment of diabetic retinopathy can reduce the incidence of blindness. The aim of this study is to assess whether there are differences in the rate of eye examinations and the incidence of blindness among middle-aged and elderly diabetics in different cities. Methods: Diabetics aged 55 and over were selected from National health Insurance Research Database in 2010-2013. We then use the Healthcare Utilization Database to obtain the estimated residence of patients and use it as the location variable. We calculated the rate of annual eye examinations and the age-sex standardized incidence rate of blindness and compared the difference between the eye examination rates and the blindness rates in each city. Results: Annual eye examination rates of the middle-aged and elderly diabetics increased gradually, and the four-year average rate was 36.6%. The incidence of blindness rose first and then decreased in the last two years, and the four-year average rate was 1.6 per 10,000 people. In 2013, the eye examination rates in Changhua City was the highest (62.2%). And in the same year, the age-sex standardized incidence of blindness was the highest in Hualien City (5.51 per 10,000 people) and was the lowest (no diabetic patient became blind in the year) in Taitung City. The results of mixed effect regression model showed that there was no significant linear association between the eye examination rates and incidence of blindness. However, in the scatter plot one could find that those city with eye examination rate higher than 40% had blindness rates all lower than 5 per 10,000 people. Conclusion: The clinical guidelines suggest that people with diabetes should have annual eye examination for retina. But results of this study shows that Changhua City was the only one whose eye examination rate achieve 50%, and the average rate of other cities was 35.2%, so that more than 60% of diabetics did not have regular check-up. There was no significant linear association between eye examination rates and the incidence of blindness. However, this study is an ecological study so that the effect of eye examination to prevent blindness cannot be inferred at an individual level.
|Translated title of the contribution||A Correlational Study between Eye Examination Rates and Incidence of Blindness of the Middle-aged and Elderly Diabetics in Taiwan|
|Journal||健康科技期刊 ＝ The Journal of Health Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 2018 Dec 1|