Diabetic retinopathy screening in patients aged 90 years and over

The NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme determines that all people with diabetes aged 12 and over should be screened annually for diabetic retinopathy (DR). As the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) continues to rise and the population lives longer, the number of elderly people with DM subsequently increases. It poses the question as to whether there should be a cut off age at which screening should be ceased.

The primary aim of this audit was to evaluate digital DR screening in patients aged 90 and over in order to establish whether it is appropriate to cease screening at age 90. More specifically, we looked at how many patients in this age group attend annual screening within the Birmingham, Solihull and Black Country Screening Programme. The outcomes were analysed which involved finding out how many were referred to ophthalmology and for what reasons.

By Abigail Tye