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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 159167, 6 pages
Research Article

Prevalence, Demographics, and Treatment Characteristics of Visual Impairment due to Diabetic Macular Edema in a Representative Canadian Cohort

1Aging, Rehabilitation and Geriatric Care Program, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada N6C 2R5
2Individual Health Outcomes Inc., ON, Canada N5X 3W7
3Parkwood Hospital, Aging, Rehabilitation and Geriatric Care Research Center, B-3002, 801 Commissioners Rd E., London, ON, Canada N6C 5J1
4Outcomes Research, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., Dorval, QC, Canada H9S 1A9

Received 20 June 2012; Revised 10 November 2012; Accepted 11 November 2012

Academic Editor: Andrew G. Lee

Copyright © 2012 Robert J. Petrella et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Diabetic macular edema (DME) is the leading cause of blindness in the diabetic population. However, there is limited understanding of the epidemiology of DME with visual impairment (VI) and treatment in patients with diabetes in Canada. This observational, retrospective study used records from the Southwestern Ontario database to observe the demographics, prevalence, and treatment characteristics of VI due to DME compared to a healthy population in a real-world Canadian setting. Data was compared between a cohort of 8,368 diabetic (type 1 or 2) patients, who were ≥18 years old and had a diagnosis of DME with VI (visual acuity <20/40 in Snellen equivalent), and 76,077 age- and gender-matched subjects representing a healthy population. Among diabetic patients, prevalence of DME was 15.7%, and prevalence of VI due to DME was 2.56%. Laser monotherapy was the most frequently used treatment. Public funding covered costs for 85% of persons with DME while 18% were paid for with private funds. This study provides insight into the demographics, prevalence, and treatment of VI due to DME in a representative Canadian cohort. This data can help to inform evaluation of current DME treatment patterns and of proposed new treatment on drug plan budgets in Canada.