Annual diabetic eye screening has been implemented in England since 2008. This study aimed to estimate changes in the detection of retinopathy in the first 4 years of the program.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Participants included 32,340 patients with type 2 diabetes resident in three London boroughs with one or more screening records between 2008 and 2011. Data for 87,570 digital images from 2008 to 2011 were analyzed. Frequency of sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy (STDR) was estimated by year of screen for first screens and for subsequent screens according to retinopathy status at first screen.
Among 16,621 first-ever screens, the frequency of STDR was 7.1% in 2008, declining to 6.4% in 2011 (P = 0.087). The proportion with a duration of diabetes of <1 year at first screen increased from 18.7% in 2008 to 48.6% in 2011. Second or later screens were received by 26,308 participants. In participants with mild nonproliferative retinopathy at first screen, the proportion with STDR at second or later screen declined from 21.6% in 2008 to 8.4% in 2011 (annual change −2.2% [95% CI −3.3 to −1.0], P < 0.001). In participants with no retinopathy at first screen, STDR declined from 9.2% in 2008 to 3.2% in 2011 (annual change −1.8% [−2.0 to −1.7], P < 0.001). Declining trends were similar in sociodemographic subgroups.