Author(s): Arfken CL, Reno PL, Santiago JV, Klein R. Development of proliferative diabetic retinopathy in African-Americans and whites with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 1998 May;21(5):792-5.
Journal: Diabetes Care, Volume 21, Issue 5, May 1998
OBJECTIVE To investigate the comparable risk of developing proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) in African-Americans and whites with type 1 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Using a cohort design with the sample drawn from medical records, the sample consisted of 312 people with type 1 diabetes (97 African-Americans, 215 whites) having at least two visits to a Model Demonstration Unit with gradeable fundus photographs (stereo, color, 7 standard fields). Excluded were subjects with preexisting or treated PDR or hemoglobinopathy. Masked grading of the fundus photographs was conducted at the Wisconsin Reading Center.
RESULTS At baseline, African-Americans had poorer glycemic control (mean HbA1 of 11.3 vs. 10.0%, P < 0.0001), higher systolic blood pressure (mean of 117 vs. 110 mmHg, P < 0.001), and were older (mean of 26.8 vs. 19.3 years, P < 0.0001) than the white subjects. African-Americans also tended to have slightly longer duration of diabetes and length of follow-up. In the African-Americans, 17.5% developed PDR, compared with 10.2% in the 215 whites, for an odds ratio (OR) of 1.86 (95% CI 0.93-3.70). When adjusted for baseline glycemic control, retinopathy grade, and length of follow-up, race was not a significant risk factor (OR = 0.73, 95% CI 0.30-1.78).
CONCLUSIONS African-Americans with type 1 diabetes may have a higher rate of developing PDR. The observed racial difference, however, is attributable to the presence of a worse risk factor profile, especially to poorer glycemic control. Efforts should be expanded to improve the care for all individuals with poor glycemic control.