Vision at risk

October 2009

FocusVision at risk


Screening recommendations

Volume 38, No.10, October 2009 Pages 780-783

Geoffrey Spurling

Deborah A Askew

Claire Jackson


Type 2 diabetes mellitus is an increasingly prevalent presentation in Australian general practice, where most patients receive their preventive care and management.


In this article we discuss the relevant issues for clinicians and the screening recommendations for diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy.


Screening for diabetic retinopathy is a crucial component of preventive care, with early identification of change and timely treatment likely to prevent most blindness. Despite this, a quarter of Australians with diabetes are not appropriately screened. General practitioners must take a key role in initiating, delivering or monitoring their patient’s diabetic retinopathy screening to reduce preventable blindness from diabetes mellitus. Hypertensive retinopathy indicates end organ disease but regular screening for hypertensive retinopathy is not routinely recommended.

Diabetes is the chronic systemic disease responsible for most visual loss. Hypertension an important risk factor for diabetic retinopathy and hypertensive retinopathy is an important marker of end organ damage for hypertension.1

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