Introduction: We investigated the annual incidence rate and risk factors for progression of diabetic retinopathy in The Korea National Diabetes Program.

Method: The Korean national Diabetes Program (KNDP) is a prospective, multicenter, and observational cohort study performed on type 2 diabetic patients in Korea. The study started in May 20and continued to follow-up until March 2014. Of the 3,949 patients enrolled in the KNDP, we analyzed 2962 patients who had both eyes photographed and assessed at baseline and further follow-up. An ophthalmologist evaluated and graded the funduscopic findings. Diabetic reinopathy (DR) was classified as 4 stages which were no DR, NPDR, PDR and blindness. We calculated the annual incidence rate from stage to stage. We analyzed the risk factor for progression of diabetic retinopathy.

Results: The mean follow-up time (SD) was 4.1 (1.7) years. The mean age and DM duration were 54.6 (9.8) years and 6.7 (6.5) years, respectively. The mean level of fasting glucose and HbA1c was 144 (50) mg/dl and 7.7 (1.7), respectively. Of those, patients with diabetic retinopathy was 691 (23.4%). The annual progression rate from no retinopathy to NPDR was 3.28% (295/2271). Patients progressed directly from NPDR to PDR at a rate of 3.13% (85/871). Three of 200 patients with PDR progressed to blindness, at an annual rate of 0.57%. Patients who further progressed retinopathy had older age, longer DM duration, higher levels of HbA1c, higher systolic blood pressure, and more history of cerebrovascular disease than those who didn’t progress retinopathy.

Conclusion: We reported the results of larger scale on DR progression than previous study of Korea. When compared to previous studies, the disease progression has improved over the 2 decades in Korean patients with type 2 diabetes. Our findings are consistent with other recent small studies from Korea. This study also confirmed risk factors for DR progression.


H. Moon: None. J. Jeon: None. S. Lee: None. S. Han: None. H. Kim: None. K. Chun: None. T. Kim: None. Y. Kim: None. J. Woo: None. K. Ahn: None. M. Nam: None. S. Baik: None. Y. Park: None. K. Lee: None.

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