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Diabetic retinopathy research could reduce screening costs
Date:5/6/2012

s.

According to Diabetes UK, some 2.8m people in the UK have diabetes and 10 per cent of them are diagnosed with retinopathy.

The UK's National Institute for Clinical Excellence introduced guidelines for annual screening, but admits that this frequency is arbitrary and has welcomed research to investigate appropriate intervals between screening appointments.

The study was led by Dr. Daniel Chalk, Associate Research Fellow in Applied Operational Research, Peninsula Collaboration for Health, Operational Research and Development (PenCHORD), PCMD. He said: "This is not the first study to investigate screening for diabetic retinopathy, but it is the first to focus on the group of type 2 diabetics who have not yet been diagnosed for the condition. Diabetic retinopathy typically develops at a very slow pace, and as a consequence we wanted to identify whether or not there was any merit in reducing the frequency of screening from annually to every two years."

He added: "We found that there was no perceivable difference in the effectiveness of screening annually or every two years for this particular patient cohort, which would suggest that it would be safe and cost-effective to increase the screening interval to two years. In order to support this, an effective recall system and campaign to impress upon patients the continuing importance of such screening would be beneficial a lengthening of the screening interval in no way undermines the validity of the screening process itself."


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Contact: Andrew Gould
andrew.gould@pcmd.ac.uk
44-188-438-346
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

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