A Hospital Based Study Regarding Awareness of Association Between Glycosylated Haemoglobin and Severity of Diabetic Retinopathy in Type 2 Diabetic Individuals NC01-NC04
Dr. Mridula Prabhu,
Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, S D M College of Medical Sciences and Hospital,
Sattur, Dharwad-580009, India.
Introduction: Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common microvascular complications seen in diabetic patients after a long term of uncontrolled glycaemic status as assessed by glycosylated Haemoglobin A (HbA1c). Hence awareness of glycaemic control is necessary to prevent vision threatening complications.
Aim: To assess the awareness regarding association between glycosylated Haemoglobin (HbA1c) and diabetic retinopathy among diabetic patients and to assess the impact of lack of this knowledge on the severity of diabetic retinopathy (DR). Materials and Methods: This hospital based cross-sectional study was conducted in the ophthalmology OPD on 200 adult diabetic patients, between November 2012 and January 2013, who were assessed for their knowledge regarding association between HbA1c and its impact on the progress of DR. The study was done with the help of a semi structured questionnaire which included demographic details, literacy levels, diabetic status and awareness of HbA1c.
Statistics Used: Cochran Armitage test for trend, Fisher Exact test, chi-square for trend and Student’s t test. R esults: Among the 200 diabetic individuals attending our OPD, 180 (90%) were aware of the importance of blood sugar levels and its fluctuation in type 2 diabetes. Only 23 (11.5%) were aware of HbA1c whereas 10 (5%) misinterpreted it as levels of haemoglobin, 3 (1.5%) did not completely comprehend. About 164 (82%) patients were not aware of the significance or the terminology of HbA1c. Out of the 200 patients, 58 patients showed presence of some grade of DR. Amongst these 58 patients, 7(12.1%) were aware of HbA1c and all the11 patients with clinically significant macular oedema (CSME) were aware of the risk factors of elevated blood sugar levels but ignorant of HbA1c. Among the remaining 142 individuals who showed no signs of DR, 16 (27.5%) were aware of and comprehended the role of HbA1c.
Conclusion: Our study highlights the gross ignorance of role of HbA1c in the progress of DR among diabetic individuals. It is a known fact that the risk of DR reduces by 35% for every 1% reduction in HbA1c. Hence a strict control of blood sugar level with regular monitoring of HbA1c can help diabetic individuals in prevention of progress of DR, thus preventing severe vision loss.