Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of blindness in the working-age population, and it increases in severity during pregnancy. Duke researchers performed meta-analysis and systematic review of literature aimed to provide physicians with more information on the risk factors associated with the progression of DR in pregnancy and how to counsel this vulnerable patient population appropriately.
Results were published Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology that shows pre-eclampsia and hypertension treatment during pregnancy were significantly associated with the development/progression of DR. HbA1c at baseline, duration of diabetes, and diastolic blood pressure at baseline were all significantly higher in the progression group while only mean birth weight was significantly higher in the non-progression group.
"DR in pregnancy is a very important risk factor for pregnant people with diabetes and is an issue that does not receive the attention it deserves," says Majda Hadziahmetovic, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology was corresponding author for this study. We are pleased that this research has been published to raise awareness.
This research may better inform physicians and help patients from potentially blinding eye disease.