Diabetes is the major risk factor for retinopathy; other risk factors are duration of diabetes, poor blood-glucose control, pregnancy, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Retinopathy Risk factors
Some common risk factors for retinopathy are:
- Having diabetes both type 1 and type 2 is a major risk factor for developing retinopathy and macular edema.
- The longer a person has diabetes, the greater the chance of retinopathy.
- Poor blood sugar control is one of the main causes of diabetic retinopathy.
- Smoking may indirectly contribute and increase the risk for the diabetic retinopathy.
- Hypertension increases the risk of retinopathy.
- Pregnancy seems to increase the risk of developing retinopathy. Women who already have retinopathy and become pregnant, the condition becomes worse.
- Nearly half of all people with diabetes will develop some degree of diabetic retinopathy during their lifetime.
- Studies suggest that having a high-cholesterol level increases the risk of retinopathy. However, reducing it limits the progression of retinopathy.
- Type 2 diabetes and user of the medicine rosiglitazone (Avandia, Avandamet, and Avandaryl) to treat their diabetes may have a higher risk for problems with the center of the retina (the macula).