Author(s): Mahuya Chattopadhyay1, Atanu Biswas2, Ritesh Singh3, Arindam Sur4
India is home to second most populous country with diabetes. As more and more people with diabetes are leading normal life with the help of drugs, the burden of diabetic retinopathy is increasing. The awareness about the problem is not keeping pace with the burden of the disease.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a teaching hospital of West Bengal wherein diabetics attending the lifestyle and diabetic clinics were asked about the different aspects of diabetic retinopathy.
There were 307 females (58.4%). The mean (SD) age of the respondent was 53.7 (11.5) years. 30% of the participants said that at least one of their first-degree relative (either parent or sibling) is a known diabetic. The median duration of the diabetes of the respondents was 4 years. 79% of the participants were on any oral hypoglycaemic agent. 285 (54.2%) participants knew that diabetes can affect eye. 134 (25.6%) individuals have belief that diabetes can affect eye even if the blood sugar is under control. 82 (15.6%) were not feeling the need to visit an eye doctor even if they are diabetic. 270 (51.3%) did not know whether it is essential to visit an eye specialist for periodic checkups if a person has diabetes. Sex and occupation was not significantly associated with awareness about the eye diseases. More educated participants had better knowledge about diabetic retinopathy.
Though, the awareness about the diabetic retinopathy is average, the actual practice of visiting an eye specialist for regular eye checkups is very low in diabetic patients attending a teaching hospital of West Bengal.
Diabetes, Diabetic Retinopathy, Awareness, Prevalence.