PURPOSE: The purpose of the study was to study the association between diabetic retinopathy (DR) and periodontal disease (PD) in a South Indian cohort. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, observational, interdisciplinary hospital-based study wherein patients with diabetes mellitus visiting the ophthalmology department of a university teaching hospital in coastal Karnataka, south India, during the study period, were screened independently for retinopathy by an ophthalmologist and PD by a periodontal surgeon. All the patients were above 18 years of age and did not have juvenile or gestational diabetes. A total of 213 patients consented to participate in the study. The data were analyzed for association using the Chi-square test. RESULTS: There was a statistically significant association between the presence of DR and PD (P = 0.02). The increasing severity of DR was associated with an increase in the components of PD including plaque index (P < 0.001) and gingival index (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: There is a significant association between DR and PD. The awareness of this association can aid in the screening of potentially sight-threatening retinopathy in diabetics presenting to the dental clinic with PD.
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