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Non white patients less likely to receive diabetic retinopathy screening

A US study involving 149 young people with diabetes found that non-white patients were less likely to have had a diabetic eye examination

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Pixabay/Tesa Robbins

New research has highlighted ethnic disparities in the eye care provided to young diabetes patients in the US.

The study, which was published in JAMA Ophthalmology, found that in a group of 149 type 1 and type 2 paediatric diabetes patients, non-white patients were less likely to have received a diabetic eye examination despite being more likely to have diabetic retinopathy than white patients.

Differences in access to a diabetic eye examination among non-white young people persisted even after adjusting the results for insurance, household income, and parental education level.

When asked what barriers prevented access to an examination, participants reported that they could not recall being invited to attend an appointment, difficulty finding time for an additional appointment and transportation issues.

The authors of the study emphasised: “Addressing barriers to diabetic retinopathy screening may improve access to diabetic eye examination and facilitate early detection.”