Eye care use among a high-risk diabetic population seen in a public hospital's clinics.

Academic Article


  • IMPORTANCE: Little is known regarding eye care use among low-income persons with diabetes mellitus, especially African Americans. OBJECTIVE: To investigate eye care use among patients with diabetes who were seen in a county hospital clinic that primarily serves high-risk, low-income, non-Hispanic African American patients. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective cohort study with 2 years of follow-up examined eye care use among adult patients with diabetes seen in 2007 in an outpatient medical clinic of a large, urban county hospital that primarily serves low-income, non-Hispanic African American patients. Patients with a history of retinopathy and macular edema or a current diagnosis indicating ophthalmic complications were excluded. Eye care use was defined dichotomously as whether or not patients had a visit to the eye clinic for any eye care examination or procedure. We estimated crude and adjusted rate ratios (aRRs) and 95% CIs for the association between eye care use and selected clinical and demographic characteristics. RESULTS: There were 867 patients with diabetes identified: 61.9% were women, 76.2% were non-Hispanic African American, and 61.4% were indigent, with a mean age of 51.8 years. Eye care utilization rates were 33.2% within 1 and 45.0% within 2 years. For patients aged 19 to 39 years compared with those aged 65 years or older, significantly decreased eye care utilization rates were observed within 1 year (aRR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.27-0.84) and within 2 years (aRR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.38-0.99). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Overall eye care utilization rates were low. Additional education efforts to increase the perception of need among urban minority populations may be enhanced if focused on younger persons with diabetes.
  • Published In

  • JAMA Ophthalmology  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Adult, African Americans, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alabama, Blindness, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Diabetic Retinopathy, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Health Services, Health Services Research, Hospitals, Public, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Ophthalmology, Outpatient Clinics, Hospital, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Vision, Low, Young Adult
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Maclennan PA; McGwin G; Heckemeyer C; Lolley VR; Hullett S; Saaddine J; Shrestha SS; Owsley C
  • Start Page

  • 162
  • End Page

  • 167
  • Volume

  • 132
  • Issue

  • 2