Profile of a population-based diabetic macular oedema study: the Liverpool Eye and Diabetes Study (Sydney)

Gerald Liew, Vincent W. Wong, Mercy Saw, Tania E. Tsang, Tim Nolan, Stephen Ong, I-Van Ho

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    Purpose: The population prevalence of diabetic macular oedema (DME) is unclear. Previous estimates have depended on photographic grading of clinically significant macular oedema, which is subjective and has resulted in widely varying estimates. With the advent of optical coherence tomography (OCT), the presence and severity of DME can now be assessed objectively and accurately.

    Methods: The Liverpool Eye and Diabetes Study (LEADS) is a cross-sectional population-based study of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in a multi-ethnic region of Sydney, Australia, to determine the population prevalence of OCT-defined DME, how this varies by ethnicity and association with systemic factors. This report describes the rationale, methodology and study aims.

    Results: To date 646 patients out of an expected sample size of 2000 have been recruited. Baseline data are presented for patients with type 1 (n=75, 11.8%) and type 2 (n=562, 88.2%) diabetes recruited to date. Patients with type 1 diabetes were younger (39.5vs60.7 years), with longer duration of diabetes (18.1vs11.7 years), slightly worse glycaemic control (HbA1c 9.0vs8.3), and less likely to have hypertension (30.7vs71.4%), hypercholesterolaemia (33.3vs74.6%) and obesity (31.1vs51.5%, respectively, all p<0.05).

    Conclusions: The LEADS will provide objective estimates of the population prevalence of DME, how this varies with ethnicity and associations with systemic disease.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere021884
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Number of pages7
    JournalBMJ Open
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • cohort study
    • diabetic macular oedema
    • diabetic retinopathy


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