Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy in a Mexican-American population: Proyecto VER

Sheila K. West, Ronald Klein, Jorge Rodriguez, Beatriz Muñoz, Aimee T. Broman, Rosario Sanchez, Robert Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES - The prevalence rate of diabetes is probably higher in Hispanics than in Caucasians, although there is controversy about differences in the risk of diabetic retinopathy. The purpose of the study is to determine the prevalence rates of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy in a population-based study of Hispanics aged ≥40 years. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Proyecto VER is a random sample of Hispanic populations aged S40 years in Arizona. A total of 4,774 individuals (71.6% of the eligible sample) completed the examinations. Diabetes was defined as self-report of a physician diagnosis or HbA1c value of ≥7.0%. Diabetic retinopathy was assessed on stereo fundus photographs of fields 1, 2, and 4. RESULTS - The prevalence rate of diabetes in the Hispanic community (individuals ≥40 years of age) was 22%. The prevalence rate of diabetic retinopathy (DR) was 48%; 32% had moderate to severe nonproliferative and proliferative retinopathy. DR increased with increasing duration of diabetes and increasing level of HbA1c. The prevalence rate of DR-like changes in the sample of individuals without diabetic retinopathy was 15% and was not associated with hypertension, systolic blood pressure, or diastolic blood pressure. CONCLUSIONS - The prevalence rate of diabetes in this population of Hispanics is high, almost twice that of Caucasians. The prevalence rate of DR is high but similar to reports in a Caucasian population. The prevalence rate of 9% moderate to severe retinopathy in the newly diagnosed group suggests that efforts to improve detection and treatment of diabetes in Hispanics may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1204-1209
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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