Incidence of diabetic eye disease among migrants: A cohort study of 100,000 adults with diabetes in Denmark

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AIMS: To examine the incidence rates of any and referable diabetic retinopathy (DR) among migrants in Denmark.

METHODS: Nationwide clinical data on diabetes patients followed since 2005 were analysed. Patients were classified according to country of origin into six groups: Denmark, other Europe, Sub Saharan Africa, Middle East/North Africa, Asia, and America/Oceania. A total of 93,780 or 110,897 patients without any (including unspecific diagnoses) or referable (proliferative) DR at baseline were analyzed. We estimated event rates and hazard ratios (HRs) for incidence of any and referable DR according to country of origin.

RESULTS: After an average follow-up of 3.59 years 6727 had incident any DR and 4747 patients had referable DR. Compared to people of Danish origin, migrants from the Middle East/North Africa and Asia had a higher risk of any and referable DR after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, smoking status, types and duration of diabetes, clinic type (general practice vs outpatient clinic), HbA1c, blood pressure and lipid levels. The associations remained significant after further adjustment for frequency of eye screening.

CONCLUSIONS: Migrants from the Middle East/North Africa and Asia were at increased risk of developing any and referable DR compared to native Danes, and these differences were not fully explained by differences in underlying clinical, diabetic and cardiometabolic risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Adult, Aged, Cohort Studies, Denmark/epidemiology, Diabetic Retinopathy/epidemiology, Female, Humans, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, Transients and Migrants/statistics & numerical data

ID: 217610231