Concurrent with population ageing, diabetes has reached epidemic proportions globally, and is fast becoming one of the leading causes of death and disability. As a chronic, progressive, and systemic disease, diabetes with its serious and life changing burden of disease will increase substantially over the next two decades.
The loss of vision is one of the most feared health problems and yet the prevalence of vision threatening diabetic eye diseases including diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) is increasing globally in this region at a rapid rate. The implications of vision loss for individuals and societies are significant and widespread,
Currently, there are systemic gaps that must be addressed for people with diabetes to have improved vision health outcomes:
- Inadequate patient education about prevention of DR and DME;
- Limited availability and use of professional guidelines and protocols for health professionals;
- Inadequate and unequal access to screening and treatment; and
- Lack of coordination across the diabetes patent care pathway.
The DR Barometer Study
To improve understanding of the complex global, regional and specific country issues giving rise to increased prevalence of Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), a comprehensive, two-phase, multi-country study was conducted in 41 countries around the world. This ground-breaking study shines a spotlight on the status of prevention, assessment and treatment of diabetic eye disease (DED), as well as the real-life experiences of people living with the condition and the perspectives of the clinicians they interact with. The global report, and series of country reports that synthesized and describes responses from over 7,000 participants are important sources of information (evidence) that can form an initial knowledge platform of influence to inform and shape vision-related policy.