Background and Methods: This cross-sectional study determined the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in non-Hispanic African Americans (AA) with end-stage-kidney disease (ESKD) and their impact on quality of life. A total of 95 adults with type 1 (n= 10) and type 2 (n= 85) on dialysis diabetes were assessed for DR using portable hand-held (Optomed Aurora) with artificial intelligence report with AEYE Diagnostic System (AEYE-DS) , visual acuity using a Snellen chart, and social determents of health, and standardized questionnaires (Kidney Disease Quality of Life (KDQoL) , depression screening (Patient health Questionaire-9) and food insecurity.

Results: Among the 95 participants (female 51%, mean age 59.5 ±12.3 years, duration of diabetes (DM) 18.2 ± 12.0 years and duration of dialysis 4.5±3.6 years) . A total of 55% of patients had a diagnosis of (DR+) , who had a longer duration of DM (18.8±9.5 vs. 15.8±12.2 years, p=0.20 and shorter duration of dialysis (3.6±2.7 vs. 5.9±5.0 years compared to DR negative (DR-) , p=0.09. Kidney Disease Quality of Life score on symptoms/problems related to ESKD and greater effect of kidney disease in daily life were lower compared to the general US, AA population with ESKD, p <.0001) . DR+ had worse physical health (p: 0.09) , greater rate of severe vision impact on quality of life (p= 0.01) , similar rates below the federal poverty level per household income (25% vs. 30%) , non-statistically significantly higher Ph-Q9 depression (6.9±5.3 vs. 4.8±4.1, p=0.16) , and food insecurity scores compared to without DR (1.07±1.51 vs. 0.83±1.56, p=0.33) . Overall, the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was 55% based on the AEYE artificial intelligence system. Diabetic retinopathy was associated with poor quality of life and physical health, higher rates of poverty, and greater impact of vision impairment on quality of life compared to DR negative. Our preliminary finding highlights the increased disease burden of DR in AAs with ESKD, indicating an alarming gap in care.


M. Egeolu: None. G. E. Umpierrez: Research Support; AstraZeneca, Dexcom, Inc., Novo Nordisk. E. Manishimwe: None. Z. E. Zabala: None. B. Moazzami: None. R. L. Caleon: None. R. J. Galindo: Advisory Panel; Sanofi, WW International, Inc., Research Support; Dexcom, Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk. J. E. Navarrete: None. A. Y. G. Gerges: None. L. Peng: None.

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