Ranjini Kotancheri 1 , Arun Kumar Ayoor 2 , Arunlal Syamanthakam3 , Anu Bhaskar 4 , Swathi Karuppali

BACKGROUND Diabetic retinopathy is a major cause of blindness in the world with India being set to emerge as the diabetic capital of the world. Visual disability from diabetes is a significant health problem, but its morbidity is largely preventable and treatable. HbA1c (glycosylated haemoglobin) is the best indicator of glycaemic control. It has long been known to predict the incidence and progression of diabetic retinopathy. Our aim is to evaluate the correlation of STDR in type 2 diabetes mellitus with HbA1c levels. MATERIALS AND METHODS A cross-sectional study was carried out in the Department of Ophthalmology, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, among 250 randomly selected type 2 Diabetes Mellitus patients and they were grouped into STDR, non-STDR and no diabetic retinopathy based on ophthalmoscopy. HbA1c level was estimated and its correlation was analysed using SPSS software version 17.0. Association of STDR with duration of diabetes and Body Mass Index (BMI) were also studied. RESULTS Out of 250 patients studied, mean age was 58.98 with 126 males and 124 females and there was increased incidence of STDR in males. 104 patients with STDR had HbA1c value of more than 8, high incidence of STDR were noted with increasing levels of HbA1c and the correlation was statistically significant (p = 0.02). 74.1% of patients had STDR in the group with duration of diabetes 11 to 15 years, 90.90% in more than 21 years group compared to 43% in the 5 years group. Increase in duration of diabetes was found to be significantly associated with higher incidence of STDR (p = 0.01). Incidence of STDR were more in patients with normal BMI (p = 0.03). CONCLUSION Poor diabetic control as noted by high HbA1c level and longer duration of diabetes were significantly associated with sightthreatening diabetic retinopathy. Patients with STDR and high HbA1c levels have to be referred for appropriate evaluation and treatment at the earliest to prevent blindness.