July 2018
Volume 59, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2018
The prevalence of diabetes mellitus and diabetic retinopathy in the Rio Grande Valley: A demographics report
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Donald C C Meadows
    Valley Retina Institute, McAllen, Texas, United States
  • Hamzah Khalaf
    Valley Retina Institute, McAllen, Texas, United States
  • Matthew P Johnson
    UTRGV, Brownsville, Texas, United States
  • Victor H Gonzalez
    Valley Retina Institute, McAllen, Texas, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Donald C Meadows, None; Hamzah Khalaf, None; Matthew Johnson, None; Victor Gonzalez, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2018, Vol.59, 1039. doi:
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      Donald C C Meadows, Hamzah Khalaf, Matthew P Johnson, Victor H Gonzalez; The prevalence of diabetes mellitus and diabetic retinopathy in the Rio Grande Valley: A demographics report. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):1039.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : To describe the prevalence and severity of diabetes mellitus and diabetic retinopathy in the South Texas primarily Hispanic population in the Rio Grande Valley.

Methods : This cross-sectional study was conducted at the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), Valley Retina Institute (VRI), and Gulf Coast Eye Institute (GCEI). A limited data set for this cross-sectional analysis was extracted from a single electronic medical record (EMR) system (Doctorsoft, Reseda, CA), for the time period of January 1, 2015 through to June 16, 2017. Extracted data included date of birth, sex, zip code, and self-reported medical history and A1C. All diabetic retinopathy (DR) diagnoses in the medical record were collected for both the ICD-9 and ICD-10 diagnosis codes

Results : Of the total number of patients, 49 769 patients (97.1%) are residents within one of the four Rio Grande Valley counties (Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr, or Willacy). 16 992 (34.5%) were recorded to have diabetes mellitus and 32 330 patients (65.5%) were recorded as non-diabetic. The mean age of diabetic patients was 65.7 years with a range of 7 to 102 years and an interquartile range of 58 to 75 years.When looking specifically at the 16 992 reported to have diabetes mellitus, 7 246 (42.6%) had DR while 9 171 (54.0%) had no ophthalmic complications.
Of the patients with DR, DR grading was specified in 7 254 (98.9%) patients. A total of 2 952 (40.3%) individuals had mild non-proliferative DR (NPDR), 1 381 (18.8%) individuals had moderate NPDR, 580 (7.9%) individuals had severe NPDR, and 2 334 (31.8%) individuals had proliferative DR (PDR).

Conclusions : This is the first population level report to be done describing the prevalence and severity of diabetic retinopathy on the Rio Grande Valley. The population in this part of the United States is primarily hispanic and shown to have higher than average prevalence and severity. Further investigations are needed to identify factors leading to such severity. Such investigations could be beneficial to other areas with similar profiles.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.


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