Diabet. Med. 29, 1148–1152 (2012)
Aims The aim of this pilot study was to generate an initial estimate of the prevalence and correlates of diabetic retinopathy in a racially and ethnically diverse sample of youth with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Methods A pilot study was conducted among 222 individuals with Type 1 diabetes (79% non-Hispanic white, 21% other) and 43 with Type 2 diabetes (28% non-Hispanic white, 72% other), all of > 5 years duration (mean duration 6.8 years) who participated in the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study. Diabetic retinopathy was assessed using non-mydriatic retinal photography of both eyes.
Results The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was 17% for Type 1 diabetes and 42% for Type 2 diabetes (odds ratio 1.50, 95% CI 0.58–3.88; P = 0.40 adjusted for age, duration, gender, race/ethnicity, parental education and HbA1c. HbA1c was significantly higher among those with any diabetic retinopathy (adjusted mean 79 mmol/mol, 9.4%) vs. no diabetic retinopathy (adjusted mean 70 mmol/mol, 8.6%) (P = 0.015). LDL cholesterol was also significantly higher among those with any diabetic retinopathy (adjusted mean 107.2 mg/dl) compared with those without diabetic retinopathy (adjusted mean 97.9 mg/dl) (P = 0.04).
Conclusions The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in contemporary young individuals was substantial, particularly among minority youth and those with Type 2 diabetes. Further long-term study of diabetic retinopathy in youth is needed.