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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 3627465, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/3627465
Review Article

Diabetic Retinopathy in Italy: Epidemiology Data and Telemedicine Screening Programs

1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
2Fondazione G. B. Bietti, IRCCS, Roma, Italy

Received 8 September 2016; Revised 26 October 2016; Accepted 30 October 2016

Academic Editor: Goran Petrovski

Copyright © 2016 Stela Vujosevic and Edoardo Midena. 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.

Abstract

In Italy, the number of people living with diabetes is about 3.5 million (5.5% of the population), with an increase by about 60% in the last 20 years and with 1 person out of 3 older than 65 years. The Italian Health Service system estimates that 10 billion euros is spent annually on caring for patients with diabetes, a figure that increases yearly. No national data on prevalence and incidence of legal blindness in patients with diabetes and no national registry of patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR) are currently available. However, the available epidemiological data (in several locations throughout the country) are consistent with those reported in other European countries. The use of telemedicine for the screening of DR in Italy is confined to geographically limited locations. The available data in the literature on implementation and use of telematic screening proved to be successful from patient, caregiver, and authorities point of view. This review addresses the available epidemiological data on DR and telematic screening realities in Italy and thus may help in establishing a national screening program.