How common is diabetic retinopathy in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes?

Updated: Sep 02, 2021
  • Author: Abdhish R Bhavsar, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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In patients with type I diabetes, no clinically significant retinopathy can be seen in the first 5 years after the initial diagnosis of diabetes is made. After 10-15 years, 25-50% of patients show some signs of retinopathy. This prevalence increases to 75-95% after 15 years and approaches 100% after 30 years of diabetes. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) is rare within the first decade of type I diabetes diagnosis but increases to 14-17% by 15 years, rising steadily thereafter.

In patients with type II diabetes, the incidence of diabetic retinopathy increases with the disease duration. Of patients with type II diabetes, 23% have nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) after 11-13 years, 41% have NPDR after 14-16 years, and 60% have NPDR after 16 years.

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