Diabetic Retinopathy Barometer

Last update: 08/01/2020

The Diabetic Retinopathy Barometer is the product of unique collaboration of experts from the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), International Diabetes Federation (IDF), International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), supported by Bayer Pharma AG. It is a study of almost 7,000 adults with diabetes and health care professionals from 41 countries – that highlights the urgent need for clear patient care pathways and robust, responsive health systems around the world to prevent unnecessary vision loss associated with diabetes.

The study sought in broad terms, to assess the awareness of diabetic eye disease (DED), access, and barriers to diabetes management, including screening and timely treatment. The views of nearly 7,000 adults with diabetes and health care professionals were gathered in this multi-method study, which not only highlighted good practice, but also emphasised the urgent need to address gaps in the healthcare system.

Key findings:

  • 38% of people with diabetes said that long wait times for an appointment were a barrier to eye exams.
  • 28% of health providers did not have written protocols for the management of diabetes related vision loss available.
  • 20% of respondents said their vision impairment due to diabetic retinopathy (DR) or diabetic macular edema (DME) made it difficult to manage their diabetes.
  • 79% of respondents said their vision impairment due to DR or DME made everyday activities difficult, such as driving, working and cooking or cleaning their home, and in some cases impossible.
  • 21% of opthalmologists had not received specific training in the treatment and diagnosis of DR and DME.
  • 27% of respondents either never discussed eye complications with their doctor or did so only after the onset of complications.
  • 69% of those with DME experienced days of poor physical and mental health.

DR Barometer resources

DR Global Report 1   DR country report cover
Global Report (pdf)
Country Reports 
Video presentation - Disease Modification   Video presentation - Evolution in screening
Video presentation: Cost-effective screening programs   Video presentation: Recent advances in DR treatment
Video presentation: Drivers of change    
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