June 2020
Volume 61, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2020
Non-attendance at diabetic eye screening in a national screening program: data from 206,220 patients
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Anne Suhr Thykjær
    Ophthalmology, Odense University Hospital, Odense , Denmark
  • Lonny Merete Stokholm
    OPEN, Odense University Hospital, Denmark
  • Kurt Højlund
    SDCO, Odense University Hospital, Denmark
  • Katrine Hass Rubin
    OPEN, Odense University Hospital, Denmark
  • Ryo Kawasaki
    Vision Informatics, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan
  • Jakob Grauslund
    Ophthalmology, Odense University Hospital, Odense , Denmark
    SDCO, Odense University Hospital, Denmark
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Anne Thykjær, None; Lonny Stokholm, None; Kurt Højlund, None; Katrine Rubin, None; Ryo Kawasaki, None; Jakob Grauslund, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  VELUX foundation and Steno Diabetes Center Odense
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2020, Vol.61, 3820. doi:
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      Anne Suhr Thykjær, Lonny Merete Stokholm, Kurt Højlund, Katrine Hass Rubin, Ryo Kawasaki, Jakob Grauslund; Non-attendance at diabetic eye screening in a national screening program: data from 206,220 patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):3820.

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

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Purpose : In Denmark, a nationwide screening program for diabetic retinopathy (DR) has been established since 2013. Diabetic patients are, free of charge, offered diabetic eye screenings by private practicing ophthalmologists or at selected hospital departments.
The aim of this study was to perform a real-life evaluation of the DR screening program in Denmark, estimating the screening pattern and the ability to remain within the screening program.

Methods : The study population consisted of a longitudinal, nationwide cohort of diabetes patients in Denmark, who participated in the nationwide screening program for DR from 2013 through 2018 and were mandatorily, registered in the Danish Registry of Diabetic Retinopathy (DiaBase) database. Data from DiaBase was merged with information on age, gender, and marital status from the Danish Civil Registration register.
We investigated the baseline characteristics of 206.220 patients with at least one confirmed diabetic eye screening, as well as their reported degrees of DR (as given by the International Clinical Diabetic Retinopathy Disease Severity Scale) and the pattern of screenings visits.

Results : At the time of the first screening, mean age was 63.5 years (range 18-103 years) and 56.6% were male. First screening was performed at a private practice in 79.0% of patients and a hospital in 21.0%.
Baseline prevalence of DR was 16.0%. Of those, 9.3% had mild DR, 3.0% had moderate DR, 0.6% had preproliferative DR, 2.3% had proliferative DR, and 0.8% could not be evaluated.
The mean number of visits within the 5-year observation period was 2.8 (range 1-36) per patient.

Of the overall cohort, 58.342 (28.3%) only attended eye screening once. Potential reasons for this, in this subgroup was death, migration or disappearance (10.5%), new visit not scheduled within observation time (39.9%), and unexplained non-attendance (49.7%). As compared to the patients attending diabetic eye screening more than once, one-time attendees had a lower prevalence of DR (9.4% vs. 16.0%), but did not differ regarding age, gender, or screening facility (hospital vs. practice).

Conclusions : In a real-life, national diabetic eye screening program from Denmark, 14.1% of patients, without evident reason, only attended eye screening once. Preventive measurements should be taken to identify and contain those patients in the national screening program in order to prevent preventable vision loss.

This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.


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