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Adherence to diabetic eye examination guidelines in Australia: the National Eye Health Survey

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The known Adherence to NHMRC diabetic eye examination guidelines in Australia is reported to be suboptimal, but the accuracy of estimates is questionable, as they are derived from studies with small sample sizes and recruitment bias. 

The new In a national sample stratified by remoteness, about half of all Indigenous Australians with diabetes and almost one-quarter of non-Indigenous Australians with diabetes did not have their eyes examined at the recommended frequency, placing them at risk of vision-threatening retinopathy. 

The implications Improving the provision and uptake of screening services is needed, particularly in Indigenous communities. 

The number of adults with diabetes worldwide has almost quadrupled in the past 35 years, from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.1 This rise is largely attributable to population growth and ageing.2 In Australia, about 1.5 million adults have diabetes, and it is estimated that an additional 280 people are diagnosed each day.3 Diabetic retinopathy is a frequent complication of diabetes, and is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults in most developed nations.