Short report: suboptimal diabetes care in high-risk diabetic patients attending a specialist retina clinic



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 28, Issue 12, 1541, Article first published online: 17 November 2011

Dr Peter A. Senior, #2000, 8215 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2C8, Canada. E-mail:


Aims  Individuals with diabetic retinopathy (DR) represent a high-risk group who would benefit from intensive metabolic control and risk factor management. This brief report examines quality of care among diabetic patients attending a tertiary retinal clinic.

Methods  A cross-sectional survey, notes review, and slit-lamp examination was conducted in 139 diabetic patients attending a specialist retinal clinic to assess the quality of comprehensive diabetes care. DR was graded according to the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study scale.

Results  The prevalence of non-proliferative DR (NPDR) and proliferative DR (PDR) was 39.6 and 35.2%, respectively. The prevalence of microalbuminuria in patients with no DR, NPDR and PDR was 32, 54.1 and 68.8%, respectively. Glycaemic control was suboptimal (mean HbA1c 8.0 ± 1.8%) and 15.8% were current smokers. Drugs affecting the renin–angiotensin system were used by only 61.9% of patients with both DR and microalbuminuria, and aspirin by only 35.3%.

Conclusions  These data suggest that diabetes care in this high-risk population with established microvascular complications was suboptimal. Specialist clinics dealing with diabetic complications may be a setting where quality improvement strategies to reduce morbidity and mortality should be focused.