Examine the 10-year trend in the prevalence and treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME) and vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy (VTDR) among commercially insured adults with diabetes.


We analyzed the 10-year trend (2009–2018) in health care claims for adults aged 18–64 years using the IBM MarketScan Database, a national convenience sample of employer-sponsored health insurance. We included patients continuously enrolled in commercial fee-for-service health insurance for 24 months who had a diabetes ICD-9/10-CM code on one or more inpatient or two or more different-day outpatient claims in the index year or previous calendar year. We used diagnosis and procedure codes to calculate the annual prevalence of patients with one or more claims for 1) any DME, 2) either DME or VTDR, and 3) antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections and laser photocoagulation treatment, stratified by any DME, VTDR with DME, and VTDR without DME. We calculated the average annual percent change (AAPC).


From 2009 to 2018, there was an increase in the annual prevalence of patients with DME or VTDR (2.1% to 3.4%; AAPC 7.5%; P < 0.001) and any DME (0.7% to 2.6%; AAPC 19.8%; P < 0.001). There were sex differences in the annual prevalence of DME or VTDR and any DME, with men having a higher prevalence than women. Annual claims for anti-VEGF injections increased among patients with any DME (327%) and VTDR with DME (206%); laser photocoagulation decreased among patients with any DME (−68%), VTDR with DME (−54%), and VTDR without DME (−62%).


Annual claims for DME or VTDR and anti-VEGF injections increased whereas those for laser photocoagulation decreased among commercially insured adults with diabetes.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.21793130.

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