The UK NSC recommendation on Diabetic Retinopathy screening in adults
Find general information about population health screening.
Why is screening recommended by UK NSC?
The recommendation to change from one year to two year screening intervals for people at low risk of sight loss is based on the following evidence:
- following two successive clear diabetic eye screening appointments people with diabetes will be classed as being at low risk of developing sight threatening retinopathy
- a large observational study was carried out which showed that it was safe to invite people in this low risk group every two years rather than annually. Screening this group less often not only releases capacity, but also lessens the inconvenience for this group of attending appointments every year
- the study found that the current screening interval for people with a high risk of sight loss should remain annual
More about Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of blindness in the UK. Retinopathy means damage to the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish the retina, the tissues in the back of the eye that deal with light. Damage to these vessels causes blood leakage (haemorrhage), which may be small and confined to the retina or may extend forward into the jelly that fills the main cavity of the eye (the vitreous gel). This can seriously affect your vision.
» Read more about diabetic retinopathy on NHS Choices
Screening in the UK
Compare how screening is offered across the UK.
• Action for Blind People
• Association of British Clinical Diabetologists
• Association of Optometrists
• British Association of Retinal Screening
• College of Optometrists
• Diabetes UK
• Faculty of Public Health
• Foundation of European Nurses in Diabetes
• Institute of Diabetes in Older People
• Insulin Dependent Diabetes Trust
• International Diabetes Federation
• Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
• National Diabetes Information Service
• Primary Care Diabetes Society
• Royal College of General Practitioners
• Royal College of Ophthalmologists
• Royal College of Physicians
• Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
• Young Diabetologists Forum
The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed.
If you think your organisation should be added, please
More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.
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