Prevalence and Risk Factors for Eye Problems among 20-65Years Old Iraqi Diabetics Patients


Background: Diabetes is a chronic illness that requires continuing medical care to
prevent acute complications and to reduce the risk of long-term complication. Eye
diseases are the most feared complication of diabetes. The main disorders include
diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma. Early detection of these conditions is
important to avoid risk of vision affection or even blindness.
Objectives: This study aimed to assess the prevalence and risk factors for eye
problems among 20-65 years old diabetics' patients.
Methods: We studied 2540 diabetic patients selected from the Specialized Center for
Endocrinology & Diabetes and the National Center for Treatment & Research of
Diabetes in Al-Mustanseria Collage of Medicine from the 1st
of January, 2004 to the
of December, 2005. Structured questionnaires, full ophalmological examination
were used to determine the prevalence of eye problems with their risk factors.
Results: It was found that the prevalence of eye complications in the study sample
was 45.4%, 30.2%, 14.6 and 3%, for reduction in visual acuity, retinopathy, cataract
and glaucoma respectively. These ocular manifestations are common and cause a
significant deterioration in the vision. Age, family history, duration of diabetic
disease, smoking, and presence of chronic diseases (hypertension&or ischemic heart
disease), were found to be the main risk factors for the above complications which in
turn lead to reduction in the visual acuity in diabetic patients.
Conclusions: These ocular manifestations are common in diabetic patients and cause
a significant deterioration in the vision. Regular ophthalmology, including slit-lamp
examination, fundus examination and regular measurement of the intraocular
pressure, are necessary for the early detection and management of potential