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Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Chia, Mark A; Taylor, Joshua R; Stuart, Kelsey V; Khawaja, Anthony P; Foster, Paul J; Keane, Pearse A; Turner, Angus W; (2022) Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ophthalmology 10.1016/j.ophtha.2022.07.024. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

TOPIC: This systematic review and meta-analysis summarises evidence relating to the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR) among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Indigenous Australians suffer disproportionately from diabetes-related complications. Exploring ethnic variation in disease is important for equitable distribution of resources and may lead to identification of ethnic-specific modifiable risk factors. Existing DR prevalence studies comparing Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians have shown conflicting results. METHODS: This study was conducted following Joanna Briggs Institute guidance on systematic reviews of prevalence studies (PROSPERO ID: CRD42022259048). We performed searches of Medline (Ovid), EMBASE, and Web of Science until October 2021, using a strategy designed by an information specialist. We included studies reporting DR prevalence among diabetic patients in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian populations. Two independent reviewers performed quality assessments using a 9-item appraisal tool. Meta-analysis and meta-regression were performed using double arcsine transformation and a random-effects model comparing Indigenous and non-Indigenous subgroups. RESULTS: Fifteen studies with 8219 participants met criteria for inclusion. The Indigenous subgroup scored lower on the appraisal tool compared to the non-Indigenous subgroup (mean score 50% vs 72%, p=0.04). In the unadjusted meta-analysis, DR prevalence in the Indigenous subgroup (30.2% [95%CI: 24.9-25.7]) did not differ significantly (p=0.17) from the non-Indigenous subgroup (23.7% (95%CI: 16.8-31.4]). After adjusting for age and for quality, DR prevalence was higher in the Indigenous subgroup (p-values<0.01), with prevalence ratio point estimates ranging between 1.72-2.58, depending on the meta-regression model. For the secondary outcomes, prevalence estimates were higher in the Indigenous subgroup for diabetic macular oedema (8.7% vs 2.7%, p=0.02) and vision-threatening DR (8.6% vs 3.0%, p=0.03), but not for proliferative DR (2.5% vs 0.8%, p=0.07). CONCLUSION: Indigenous studies scored lower for methodological quality, raising the possibility that systematic differences in research practices may be leading to underestimation of disease burden. After adjusting for age and for quality, we found a higher DR prevalence in the Indigenous subgroup. This contrasts with a previous review which reported the opposite finding of lower DR prevalence using unadjusted pooled estimates. Future epidemiological work exploring DR burden in Indigenous communities should aim to address methodological weaknesses identified by this review.

Type: Article
Title: Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2022.07.024
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2022.07.024
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright 2022 by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Keywords: Diabetic retinopathy, Indigenous Australians, meta-analysis, systematic review
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10153581
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