Race leads to gaps in screening for diabetic retinopathy
Despite being more likely to have diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema, racial and ethnic minority patients are less likely to undergo screening, according to a recent article in the Journal of the National Medical Association.
The authors site “patient, provider, and institutional barriers,” as factors that influence the lack of screening in these populations. As a result of the screening disparity, minority patients often present with more advanced stages of diabetic eye disease. Complications from diabetic retinopathy are often preventable with early detection and treatment, highlighting the importance of screening.
“As the minority population increases, the burden of treatment for these patients will also increase,” the authors wrote. “It is imperative to understand the barriers and social determinants of health limiting visual outcomes in minority populations.”
Coney JM, Scott AW. Racial disparities in the screening and treatment of diabetic retinopathy. J Natl Med Assoc. 2022;S0027-9684(21)00236-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jnma.2021.12.011. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35105457.