This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Visual impairment linked to mortality in diabetes

By Colin Kenny, Editor – Diabetes Distilled

Investigators were aware that visual acuity loss is a common consequence of type 2 diabetes and may complicate diabetes self-management. They investigated patients with newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes to assess whether loss of visual acuity was an independent risk factor for mortality in this population.
 They found that impaired visual acuity at diagnosis was associated with increased all-cause mortality, independent of other risk factors for mortality. 

Researchers were aware that type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for increased mortality but wanted to investigate whether visual impairment was another possible factor. They interrogated a large Danish primary care database and examined patients who were 40 years or older whose visual acuity had been measured and recorded by an ophthalmologist. They identified 1,381 such patients from across 474 primary care practices.
Researchers followed up the patients for 6 years, recording the primary outcomes of all-cause mortality and diabetes-related mortality. They showed that poor visual acuity was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality in patients who were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This association remained similar or slightly weaker after controlling for possible confounding factors. They found that patients with visual impairment at diabetes diagnosis had more accidents, but the increase in the number of fractures and trauma did not explain the excess mortality.

Investigators concluded that visual impairment in patients newly diagnosed with diabetes is a predictor of mortality. Practitioners in primary care should consider screening patients with type 2 diabetes for impaired visual acuity soon after diagnosis.
To access the publication, click here

Free for all UK & Ireland healthcare professionals

Sign up to all DiabetesontheNet journals


By clicking ‘Subscribe’, you are agreeing that are able to email you periodic newsletters. You may unsubscribe from these at any time. Your info is safe with us and we will never sell or trade your details. For information please review our Privacy Policy.

DiabetesontheNet Logo

Are you a healthcare professional? This website is for healthcare professionals only. To continue, please confirm that you are a healthcare professional below.

We use cookies responsibly to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your browser settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website. Read about how we use cookies.