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Izvestia Journal of the Union of Scientists - Varna. Medicine and Ecology Series

Quality of life in patients with diabetic retinopathy

Gabriela Vasileva, Lidiya Zaduryan, Darina Koseva, Zornitsa Zlatarova


Diabetes is a chronic socially significant disease that occurs with reduced or absent insulin secretion, leading to metabolic disorders and many of complications. More than 537 million people worldwide are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus (DM), with a trend of increasing morbidity. Over 500,000 people have been diagnosed in Bulgaria; 25.8% of diabetic patients do not suspect that they have DM (2021); 1/3 of the people with DM have diabetic retinopathy (DR). In the long term, DR leads to a gradual and progressive reduction to complete vision loss. This leads to a decrease in the patients’ quality of life and difficulty in performing daily activities. WHO (World Health Organization) gives the following definition of QoL (quality of life) – “a subjective evaluation of one's perception of their reality relative to their goals as observed through the lens of their culture and value system.” The aim of this research is to review various literature sources for a period of the last five years and to evaluate and summarize the available information on QoL in patients with DR.

PubMed and ScienceDirect were searched using the following keywords: “diabetic retinopathy AND quality of life” combined with a filter for Open access & Open archive, English, Medicine, Ophthalmology. Diabetic retinopathy, as the most common complication of DM, has been proven to reduce the QoL of the affected patients. In order to minimize this negative impact, early detection and timely initiation of treatment are very important.


diabetic retinopathy, quality of life, VR-QoL, NEI VFQ-25.

Full Text


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