The recent analysis of data sourced from eye exams of over 95,000 patients aged 18 years and older in the UNC Health Care System showed a greater incidence of depression among patients with diabetic retinopathy.
Researchers were evaluating whether patients with diabetic retinopathy had a greater risk of either anxiety or depression and whether the severity of the diabetic retinopathy increased the likelihood of developing depression or anxiety. After reviewing the data, researchers found that 21.5% of patients with diabetic retinopathy also had a diagnosis of anxiety compared to 18.7% of patients that did not have diabetic retinopathy. When looking at depression, 33.0% of diabetic retinopathy patients had depression compared to 20.4% of patients who did not have diabetic retinopathy.
The results stress the importance of eye care providers coordinating with the patients' primary care physicians to manage diabetes, diabetic retinopathy and any mental illness.