Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy In South Asians picture

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness.

Significant risk factors for diabetic retinopathy include a patient’s age, duration of diabetes, control of blood sugar levels, etc. People from South Asian communities are also at higher risk of having diabetic retinopathy.

While it is not possible to have much influence on age, duration, and ethnicity, there is a lot we can do to help improve uptake of retinopathy screening, and the control of diabetes, which is the primary aim of our research on Diabetic Retinopathy.

We work with a number of international collaborators:

India: with support from the College of Optometrists and Lions Club International, we collaborate with Sankhara Nethralaya Eye Hospital in Chennai to improve attendance for retinal screening. We are also running a clinical trial in collaboration with the Kurseong sub-divisional hospital, Darjeling, ‘improving the management of diabetes and its eye problems in India'.

China: working with Second Affiliated Medical College in Hangzhou, we have identified factors that affect diabetic retinopathy.

Thailand: with the support of the Ministry of Public Health, we aim to increase retinal screening in five regions of the country.

Spain: support from Seneca Foundation has let us set up a programme to examine the control of diabetes through increased physical activity.

Nepal: with support from the Global Challenges Research Fund, a culturally appropriate diabetic intervention to reduce the risk of retinopathy enables us to collaborate with Gandaki Medical College and Teaching Hospital in Pokhara and conduct a clinical trial, 'improving the management of diabetes and its eye problems in Nepal'.

The Anglia Ruskin University Diabetic Retinopathy Awareness and Prevention Programme (ARUDRAPP) is a major part of our research on Diabetic Retinopathy.

Professor Shahina Pardhan
Dr Raju Sapkota


López-Sánchez, G. F., López-Bueno, R., Villaseñor-Mora, C., Pardhan, S., 2022. Comparison of Diabetes Mellitus Risk Factors in Mexico in 2003 and 2014. Frontiers in Nutrition. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.894904

López-Sánchez, G. F., Hernandez, M. R. V., Casas, P. L., Zauder, R., Jastrzebska, J., Skalska, M., Radziminski, L., Jastrzebski, Z., Pardhan, S., 2022. Impact of physical activity, BMI and sociodemographic and lifestyle factors on the risk of diabetes in 9,511 Ghanaian adults. Sport TK, 11. doi: 10.6018/sportk.518091

Trott, M., Driscoll, R., Iraldo, E., Pardhan, S., 2022. Associations between vitamin D status and sight threatening and non-sight threatening diabetic retinopathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders. doi: 10.1007/s40200-022-01059-3

Cousin, E., Duncan, B. B., Stein, C., Ong, K. L., Vos, T., Abbafati, C. et al. (Pardhan, S.), 2022. Diabetes mortality and trends before 25 years of age: an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 10(3), pp. 177-192. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(21)00349-1

Trott, M., Driscoll, R., Pardhan, S., 2022. Associations between diabetic retinopathy and modifiable risk factors: An umbrella review of meta-analyses. Diabetic Medicine. doi: 10.1111/dme.14796

Trott, M., Driscoll, R., Iraldo, E., Pardhan, S., 2022. Pathological eating behaviours and risk of retinopathy in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders. doi: 10.1007/s40200-022-00980-x

López Sánchez, G. F., Smith, L., Jacob, L., Shin, J. I., Koyanagi, A., Pardhan, S., 2021. Gender Differences in the Association Between Cataract and Mental Health in Adults With Diabetes: A Cross-Sectional Analysis From the Spanish National Health Survey 2017. Frontiers in Public Health, 9. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.769155

Pardhan, S., Zheng, D., Chen, Z., López Sánchez, G. F., 2021. Obesity needs to be addressed to tackle the increased prevalence of diabetes in China – Temporal changes from 2003 to 2009. Preventive Medicine Reports, 24(101625). doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2021.101625

Pardhan, S., Islam, M. S., López-Sánchez, G. F., Upadhyaya, T., Sapkota, R. P., 2021. Self-isolation negatively impacts self-management of diabetes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome, 13(1), pp. 123. doi: 10.1186/s13098-021-00734-4

Jacob, L., Shin, J. I., Oh, H., López-Sánchez, G. F., Smith, L., Haro, J. M., Koyanagi, A., 2021. Association between diabetes and edentulism and their joint effects on health status in 40 low and middle-income countries. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, 9(1), e002514. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2021-002514

Jacob, L., Shin, J. I., Grabovac, I., Haro, J. M., Koyanagi, A., Tully, M. A., Trott, M., Kim, J. Y., Pardhan, S., Smith, L., López-Sánchez, G. F. 2021. Association between diabetes and dental caries in Spanish adults: a cross-sectional study including 23,089 adults. Oral. 1(3), pp. 281-289. doi: 10.3390/oral1030027

Myśliwiec, A., Skalska, M., Michalak, A., Chrzanowski, J.ę, Szmigiero-Kawko, M., Lejk, A., Jastrzębska, J., Radzimiński, Ł, López-Sánchez, G. F., Gawrecki, A., Jastrzębski, Z., 2021. Responses to Low- and High-Intensity Exercise in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes in Relation to Their Level of VO2 Max. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(2). doi: 10.3390/ijerph18020692

Sujan, M. S. H., Tasnim, R., Islam, M. S., Ferdous, M. Z., Apu, M. A. R., Musfique, M. M., Pardhan, S., 2021. COVID-19-specific diabetes worries amongst diabetic patients: The role of social support and other co-variates. Primary Care Diabetes. doi: 10.1016/j.pcd.2021.06.009

Kumar, S., Kumar, G., Velu, S., Pardhan, S., Sivaprasad, S., Ruamviboonsuk, P., Raman, R., 2020. Patient and provider perspectives on barriers to screening for diabetic retinopathy: An exploratory study from southern India. BMJ Open, 10(12). doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-037277

López-Sánchez, G. F., Sánchez-Castillo, S., López-Bueno, R., Pardhan, S., Zauder, R., Skalska, M., Jastrzȩbska, J., Jastrzȩbski, Z., Smith, L., 2020. Comparison of physical activity levels in Spanish people with diabetes with and without cataracts. European Journal of Public Health, 30(6), pp. 1201-1205. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckaa104

Pardhan, S., Nakafero, G., Raman, R., Sapkota, R., 2020. Barriers to diabetes awareness and self-help are influenced by people's demographics: perspectives of South Asians with type 2 diabetes. Ethnicity and Health, 25(6), pp. 843-861. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2018.1455809

Sapkota, R., Chen, Z., Zheng, D., Pardhan, S., 2019. The profile of sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy in patients attending a specialist eye clinic in Hangzhou, China. BMJ Open Ophthalmology, 4(1). doi: 10.1136/bmjophth-2018-000236

López-Sánchez, G. F., Smith, L., Raman, R., Jaysankar, D., Singh, S., Sapkota, R., Díaz Suárez, A., Pardhan, S., 2019. Physical activity behaviour in people with diabetes residing in India: A cross-sectional analysis. Science and Sports, 34(1), e59-e66. doi: 10.1016/j.scispo.2018.08.005

López-Sánchez, G. F., Smith, L., Zheng, D., Sapkota, R., Yang, L., Chen, Z., Pardhan, S., 2019. Physical activity behaviour in people with diabetes residing in China: A cross-sectional analysis. Science and Sports, 34(3), pp. 178-180. doi: 10.1016/j.scispo.2018.11.004

Becker, C., Schneider, C., Aballéa, S., Bailey, C., Bourne, R., Jick, S., Meier, C., 2018. Cataract in patients with diabetes mellitus - Incidence rates in the UK and risk factors. Eye, 32(6), pp. 1028-1035. doi: 10.1038/s41433-017-0003-1

Smith, L., López-Sánchez, G. F., L., Suárez, A. D., Stubbs, B., Dowling, M., Scruton, A., Roberts, J., Johnstone, J., Pardhan, S., 2018. Barriers and facilitators of physical activity in children of a South Asian ethnicity. Sustainability, 10(3). doi: 10.3390/su10030761

Jain, M., Devan, S., Jaisankar, D., Swaminathan, G., Pardhan, S., Raman, R., 2018. Pupillary Abnormalities with Varying Severity of Diabetic Retinopathy. Scientific Reports, 8(1). doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-24015-9

Sapkota, R. P., Upadhyaya, T., Gurung, G., Parker, M., Raman, R., Pardhan, S., 2018. Need to improve awareness and treatment compliance in high-risk patients for diabetic complications in Nepal. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, 6(1). doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2018-000525

Neriyanuri, S., Pardhan, S., Gella, L., Pal, S. S., Ganesan, S., Sharma, T., Raman, R., 2017. Retinal sensitivity changes associated with diabetic neuropathy in the absence of diabetic retinopathy. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 101(9), pp. 1174-1178. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2016-309641

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