Association between attainment of primary care quality indicators and diabetic retinopathy

Nearly three million people in England have type 2 diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication, affecting nearly a third of patients with type 2 diabetes with considerable impacts on visual acuity and quality of life. In a paper published in the journal BMC Medicine, we examined the associations between attainment of primary care indicators and incident diabetic retinopathy among people with type 2 diabetes in England.

We found that that attainment of primary care HbA1c and BP indicators is associated with lower incidence of diabetic retinopathy in patients with type 2 diabetes. There is scope to enhance coverage of HbA1c and BP indicator attainment, and thus to potentially limit the incidence of diabetic retinopathy in England, through appropriate community-based measures. Further research is required to examine whether tighter glycaemic and/or BP control could achieve greater reductions in diabetic retinopathy.