Prevalence of Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy in Far-western Province of Nepal

  • Subash Bhatta Geta Eye Hospital, Kailali, Nepal
  • Nayana Pant Geta Eye Hospital, Kailali, Nepal
  • Suresh Raj Pant Geta Eye Hospital, Kailali, Nepal


Background: Although diabetes is emerging as growing public health problem, there is limited population based data about the prevalence of the disease in Nepal.
Methods: This cross-sectional population-based survey, conducted in the Far-western province of Nepal from April 2020 to April 2021, used standardized RAAB + DR methodology. Diabetes was diagnosed on the basis of treatment history and random blood sugar test results of greater than 200 mg/dl. Diabetic retinopathy screening was done by ophthalmologists. All relevant data were imported into the RAAB software package (RAAB V.6) for analysis.
Results: Among 4615 study population, 2.8 % (n=129) had diabetes, and 35.7% (n=46) of the diabetics were newly identified cases. Of the known diabetics, 61.4% (n=51) never had an eye examination, and only 27.7% (n=23) of cases had their eye checked for DR in the last year. Fundus examination showed 13.2 % (n=17) of the diabetic patients to have some form of diabetic retinopathy and 6.2% (n=8) had diabetic maculopathy. Only 0.8% (n=1) of the cases were categorized as sight-threatening DR but a greater number of diabetes patients had severe visual impairment or blindness (3.9%) as compared to non-diabetic patients (1.8%).
Conclusions: Prevalence of diabetes and DR were relatively lower in Far-western Nepal. However poor coverage of screening examinations have left many of these cases undetected in the communities. Effective community-based diabetes and DR screening and referral programs can help to detect and treat diabetes and DR early on to prevent vision loss and other diabetic complications.
Keywords: Diabetes; diabetic retinopathy; maculopathy; rural Nepal, vision Impairment

How to Cite
BhattaS., PantN., & PantS. R. (2023). Prevalence of Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy in Far-western Province of Nepal. Journal of Nepal Health Research Council, 20(4), 875-880.
Original Article