Impact of severity of diabetic retinopathy on quality of life in type 2 Indian diabetic patients

Preeti Yadav, S.V. Singh, Manisha Nada, Monika Dahiya


Background: Diabetes mellitus is a global public health challenge of 21st century and diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of long standing and poorly controlled diabetes which hampers patient’s physical, social and emotional well-being leading to poor quality of life. Objective was to study the correlation between severity of diabetic retinopathy and quality of life in type II DM patients.

Methods: A prospective, longitudinal and observational study was conducted in 120 patients of type II diabetes with diabetic retinopathy in a tertiary eye care centre of North India over a period from Feb. 2019 to March 2020. After doing initial ocular and systemic examination, each patient was interviewed in their local language as per NEI-VFQ-25 questionnaire. The response was calibrated quantitatively and total QoL score was calculated.

Results: Out of 120 patients of diabetic retinopathy, QoL Score was 69.8-88.8 in mild NPDR, 53.2-72.4 in moderate, 37.8-58.4 in severe NPDR and 22.4-42.2 in PDR with statistically significant difference (p<0.001). Median QoL Score was highest in mild NPDR patients and lowest in PDR, which signifies that quality of life deteriorates with severity of DR.

Conclusions: Diabetic retinopathy has an adverse effect on the QoL, which increases with severity of DR.


Diabetic retinopathy, Diabetes mellitus, Quality of life

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