Underuse of the Health Care System by Persons With Diabetes Mellitus and Diabetic Macular Edema in the United States

JAMA: February 2014

Importance  Thickening of the center of the retina, diabetic macular edema (DME), is the most common cause of visual loss due to diabetes mellitus. Treatment of DME has improved dramatically, and the prompt diagnosis of DME and referral of these patients have become more critical. Nonetheless, awareness of and care for DME in the US population is uncharacterized.

Objective  To characterize eye care and awareness of eye disease among persons with DME in the general US population.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Cross-sectional analysis of data from participants in the 2005 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 40 years or older with diabetes mellitus and fundus photographs.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Among persons with DME, (1) awareness that diabetes has affected their eyes; (2) report on the last time they visited a diabetes specialist; (3) report on their last eye examination with pupil dilation; and (4) prevalence of visual impairment. Read more