Ethnicity, Race, and Baseline Retinopathy Correlates in the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial

University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Diabetes Care (Impact Factor: 8.42). 08/2005; 28(8):1954-8. DOI: 10.2337/diacare.28.8.1954
Source: PubMed


The Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT) cohort is enriched with approximately 20% Hispanics and 20% African Americans, affording a unique opportunity to study ethnic differences in retinopathy.
Cross-sectional analyses on the baseline seven-field stereo fundus photos of 1,283 patients are reported here. Diabetic retinopathy scores are grouped into four classes of increasing severity: none (10-14), minimal nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) (15-39), moderate to severe NPDR (40-59), and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (60+). These four groups have also been dichotomized to none or minimal (10-39) and moderate to severe diabetic retinopathy (40+).
The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy scores >40 was higher for Hispanics (36%) and African Americans (29%) than for non-Hispanic whites (22%). The difference between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites was significant (P < 0.05). Similarly, the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy scores >40 was significantly higher in African Americans than in non-Hispanic whites (P < 0.05). These differences could not be accounted for by an imbalance in traditional risk factors such as age, duration of diagnosed diabetes, HbA(1c) (A1C), and blood pressure. Diabetic retinopathy severity scores were also significantly associated with increasing years of disease duration, A1C, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, the degree of microalbuminuria, fibrinogen, and the percentage of patients with amputations. There was no relationship between retinopathy severity and the percentage of people who had strokes or cardiac revascularization procedures. There was an inverse relationship between retinopathy severity and total cholesterol, triglycerides, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 as well as with smoking history. Diabetic retinopathy scores were not associated with age.
In addition to many well-known associations with retinopathy, a higher frequency of severe diabetic retinopathy was found in the Hispanic and African-American patients at entry into the VADT that is not accounted for by traditional risk factors for diabetic retinopathy, and these substantial ethnic differences remain to be explained.

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    • "The prevalence of DR is decreasing in the USA and this has been linked to the increasing DR surveillance programs, intensive risk factor control and improving health care systems.[2324] Underdeveloped nations should be doing more to control diabetes, in order to prevent the progression to visually threatening macular edema or PDR. "
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the frequency of diabetic retinopathy and its risk factors in diabetic patients attending the eye clinic at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI). This was a prospective cohort study of diabetic outpatients attending the Eye Clinic at the UHWI. Data were collected on age, gender, type of diabetes mellitus (DM), type of diabetic retinopathy, other ocular diseases, visual acuity, blood glucose and blood pressure. There were 104 patients (208 eyes) recruited for this study. There were 58.6% (61/104) females (mean age 53.6 ± 11.9 years) and 41.4% (43/104) males (mean age 61.7 ± 12.1 years). Type II DM was present in 68.3% (56% were females) of the patients and Type I DM was present in 31.7% (69.7% were females). Most patients (66%) were compliant with their diabetic medications. The mean blood glucose was 11.4 ± 5.3 mmol/L. Elevated blood pressure (<130/80) was present in 82.7% of patients. The mean visual acuity was 20/160 (logMAR 0.95 ± 1.1). The frequency of diabetic retinopathy was 78%; 29.5% had background retinopathy, and 50.5% of eyes had proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) of which 34% had tractional retinal detachments. The odds ratio of developing PDR was 1.88 (95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.02-3.3) for Type I DM compared to 0.74 (95% CI: 0.55-0.99) for Type II DM. PDR was more prevalent in females (χ(2), P = 0.009) in both Type I and II DM. Jamaica has a high frequency of PDR which is more common in Type I diabetics and females. This was associated with poor glucose and blood pressure control.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Middle East African journal of ophthalmology
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    • "We found no ethnic differences in the association of HbA1c with prevalent retinopathy in this nationally representative sample of U.S. adults aged 40 years and older. Consistent with previous studies (9,24–27), the prevalence of retinopathy was substantially higher in non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics compared with non-Hispanic whites. This may partially reflect ethnic disparities in the diagnosis of diabetes and management of hyperglycemia among individuals with diabetes. "
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE Current recommendations for the use of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in diabetes screening and diagnosis aim to identify those at greatest risk for diabetic microvascular complications. However, there is current controversy regarding the clinical implications of ethnic differences in HbA1c values. The objective of this study was to determine whether the association between HbA1c and retinopathy differs by ethnic group in a representative sample of U.S. adults.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS The study was a cross-sectional analysis of 2,945 non-Hispanic white, 1,046 non-Hispanic black, and 1,231 Hispanic American participants aged ≥40 years from the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.RESULTSAmong nondiabetic adults, the mean HbA1c was 5.5% in non-Hispanic whites, 5.7% in non-Hispanic blacks, and 5.6% in Hispanic Americans. Among those with diagnosed diabetes, mean HbA1c was 6.9% in non-Hispanic whites, 7.5% in non-Hispanic Blacks, and 7.7% in Hispanic Americans. Overall, non-Hispanic blacks had the highest prevalence of retinopathy. In multivariable logistic models, HbA1c clinical categories were strongly associated with prevalent retinopathy. However, the magnitude of the association did not differ by ethnic group (all P values for interaction ≥ 0.7). Similar results were observed with HbA1c modeled continuously (per one percentage point) and stratified by diabetes status (all P for interactions > 0.3).CONCLUSIONS We observed no ethnic differences in the association of HbA1c with retinopathy. These data do not support ethnic-specific cut points for HbA1c for diagnosis or screening of diabetes mellitus.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Diabetes care
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