Aslan Aykut, Berru Yargı, Ozlem Sahin, Turkey

Purpose:
We evaluated the demographic and clinical characteristics of diabetic Syrian refugees who were referred to our Retina Department.

Materials & Methods:
Among 32 referred patients, 16 had diabetic retinopathy. Demographic data, duration of diabetes, comorbid disease, stage of diabetic retinopathy, fasting last blood glucose level, treatment choice of diabetes, previous treatments and best corrected visual acuity were evaluated.

Results:
Of the 16 admitted patients, average age was 53.06 ± 11.3 years (range, 31 to 70 years). Diabetes duration was 14.6 ± 6.85 years (range 3 to 30 years). Twelve patients ( 75% ) had also hypertension. The average last blood glucose level was 170.9 ± 51.3 mg/dL. Thirteen patients (81.25%) were using insulin to control diabetes. 14 patients ( 87.5%) had proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) at the initial exam. Among this group 3 ( 18.75% ) of them had tractional detachment and 1 ( 6.25% ) of them had vitreous hemorrhage. Twelve patients ( 75%) were treatment naive for diabetic retinopathy. Among this naive group 11 ( 68.75%) had PDR at first presentation. Of the 32 eyes, The Snellen best corrected visual acuity was 0.3 ± 0.27. Seven eyes (21%) had laser plus intravitreal injection of any kind anti- VEGF, 3 eyes (9.3%) who were treated initially with laser, underwent vitrectomy in the follow-up.

Conclusions:
The prevalence of advanced stage diabetic retinopathy among Syrian refugees in our study was remarkably high. The treatment and management of this select population may necessitate more aggressive methods.

Contact Details:
Aslan Aykut
Marmara University
Istanbul
Turkey
Cell Phone : +905059225753
Work Phone : +902166254545
Email : aslanaykut81@gmail.com