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Identifying the awareness of diabetic retinopathy among the adult population in Chennai, India

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading global cause of visual impairment and blindness. Longer diabetes duration and poorer glycemic control are strongly associated with diabetic retinopathy. According to the International Diabetes Federation, there are about 41 million people with diabetes and this number is expected to rise to about 70 million by 2025. For every five years increase in duration of diabetes, the risk for diabetic retinopathy increases by approximately 1.89-fold. The purpose of this study was to identify the awareness of diabetic retinopathy among the adult population who visit the Pranav outreach clinics in Chennai (India). The Pranav clinics have partnered with Unite for Sight, a United States-based global health non-profit organization, to reduce the prevalence of preventable blindness in India. The aim of the study was to identify awareness based on gender, education level, and clinical factors, such as diabetes and eye history, via survey administration. Based on the survey results, approximately 92% of participants did not know what diabetic retinopathy was, and out of this percentage, 64% had diabetes. More than half of those who had diabetes were women. When asked how better people can understand diabetic retinopathy, 81% of participants believed visual mediums such as pamphlets with pictures on diabetes and diabetic retinopathy, and screening demos would be most effective. These results are important because targeted interventions must be implemented in rural areas within India to educate people about diabetic retinopathy and provide screening opportunities across different demographics.


Divya Sridhar

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