Introduction: Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most important complications of diabetes and each year it leads to blindness in many diabetics around the world. At present there is no precise information about the prevalence of diabetic patients' retinopathy in Iran. This research studied the prevalence of retinopathy and its risk factors in diabetic patients referred to Kermanshah diabetes research center (KDRC) during 1994-2000.
Materials and Methods: This study was a retrospective descriptive one in which 1690 medical records of diabetics were examined in KDRC. The essential information included: the duration of diabetes, the type of diabetes, the degree of retinopathy, the level of blood lipids, blood pressure, body mass index and gender. The data was analysed by descriptive statistics.
Results: The mean age, weight and body mass index were 47.19±15.65 years, 65.38±15.5 kg and 25.54±5.5 kg/m2 respectively. The ratio of men to women was 1.27 and the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was 33%. The most common stage of retinopathy among patients was mild to moderate. The majority of retinopathy cases were found in type 2 diabetics. In 85.9% of cases, diabetes was diagnosed less than 10 years.
Conclusion: Despite this fact that the treatment of diabetes has improved in recent years, the prevalence of retinopathy in diabetics is still high (33%) among the sample of patients taken from this centre. This rate was 63% in different regions of the world in the past several years. We need to find out more efficient methods for diabetic patients. Consequently, controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and hyperlipidemia are the potential way to reduce the rate of visual complications in diabetics.
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