To determine factors influencing recall of examination results after 4 yr.

Research Design and Methods

At two examinations that were 4 yr apart, a diabetic population was asked, “Have you been told that your diabetes has affected the back of your eyes, that is the retina?” Participants were informed by letter whether they had retinopathy. Subjects in this study included younger-onset (n = 311) and older-onset (n = 279) diabetic subjects who had retinopathy at baseline and did not know it.


Forty-two percent of younger-onset and 29% of older-onset subjects recalled at follow-up that they had been told their diabetes had affected their eyes. People in both groups were more likely to recall they had retinopathy if they had more severe retinopathy, had more symptoms of neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease, had seen an ophthalmologist within 2 yr, or monitored their blood glucose more often. In addition, younger-onset diabetic subjects with poorer visual acuity or who were on a combination insulin regimen and older-onset people taking insulin, having more education, or who were younger were more likely to recall they had retinopathy. Factors not associated with recall in either group included sex, duration of diabetes, proteinuria, glycosylated hemoglobin, and family income.


These results underscore the need to develop better methods to deliver health-care information to people who have diabetes.

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