Knowledge and Awareness of Diabetic Retinopathy among Diabetic Sudanese Patients, Khartoum State, Sudan, 2018


Background: The level of awareness of diabetic retinopathy is considered an important factor for early diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy. This study aimed to assess the level of awareness of diabetic retinopathy among patients with diabetes mellitus in Khartoum, Sudan.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among diabetic patients attending Zeenam and Abdullah Khalil Diabetic Centers between June and September 2018. A convenience sample of diabetic patients was used. Information on the sociodemographic characteristics of the patients, patients’ knowledge, compliance with available treatments, and routine eye examinations was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. Patients were also asked about the barriers that may interfere with a regular eye examination.

Results: A total of 200 patients were enrolled and 94 (47%) of them were female; 13% of the respondents were diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, 31.5% were hypertensive, and 13.5% had hyperlipidemia. Additionally, 88.5% of the patients were aware that DM can affect their eyes and 87% had never been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Although around 83% thought that diabetic retinopathy could lead to blindness, only 35.5% of them had undergone fundus examination by ophthalmologists. Moreover, 39% of the participants had irregular diabetes follow-up and 43% monthly follow-up. Only 31% went for regular eye check-up; however, their compliance with routine retinal assessment was poor, with a total of 72.5% of participants assuming that they have good vision and need not get their eyes checked up regularly. The chief factor that was related to increased awareness of diabetic retinopathy in the study was the level of education.

Conclusion: Although a large proportion of diabetic patients in Khartoum are aware that diabetes mellitus can affect their eyes, regular retinal assessment of patients was poor, thus hindering early diagnosis and management.


awareness, diabetic retinopathy, diabetes mellitus

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