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1 in 3 Individuals with Diabetes Are Not Receiving Regular Eye Screening

A new retrospective study published in the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology shows that many individuals with diabetes are not receiving regular eye screening in Ontario even when they think they are eligible for free annual eye exams. However, many are unaware of this or are not able to easily access screening.

Dr. Tina Felfeli, a Fighting Blindness Canada Clinician-Scientist Emerging Leader awardee, analyzed health records from all adults with diabetes (type 1 and type 2) between 2011-2013 and 2017-2019. It showed that 33% of individuals with diabetes did not receive diabetic retinopathy screening in a 10-year period. Individuals were more likely to miss screening if they were younger (aged 20-39), had lower incomes, lived in urban areas, were recent immigrants or had a history of mental health challenges.

This study shows the need for better strategies to improve eye care uptake, especially among populations in greatest need.

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