Long-term survival rates of patients undergoing vitrectomy for diabetic retinopathy in an Australian population: a populationbased audit

Ebony Liu, Jose Estevez, Georgia Kaidonis, Mark Hassall, Russell Phillips, Grant Raymond, Niladri Saha, George H.C. Wong, Jagjit S. Gilhotra, Kathryn P. Burdon, John Landers, Tim Henderson, Henry Newland, Stewart R. Lake, Jamie E. Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: Five-year survival rates in patients undergoing vitrectomy for diabetic
retinopathy (DR) vary from 68% to 95%. No study has been conducted in an
Australian population.
Background: We aimed to determine the survival rates of patients undergoing diabetic
vitrectomy in an Australian population.
Design: Retrospective audit, tertiary centre hospitals and private practices.
Participants: All individuals in South Australia and the Northern Territory who
underwent their first vitrectomy for diabetic complications between January
1, 2007 and December 31, 2011.
Methods: An audit of all eligible participants has been completed previously. Survival
status as of July 6, 2018 and cause of death were obtained using SA/NT Data-
Link. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and multivariate cox-regressions were used to
analyse survival rates and identify risk factors for mortality.
Main outcome measures: Five-, seven- and nine-year survival rates.
Results: The 5-, 7- and 9-year survival rates were 84.4%, 77.9% and 74.7%,
respectively. The most common cause of death was cardiovascular disease. Associated
with increased mortality independent of age were Indigenous ethnicity
(HR = 2.04, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.17-3.57, P = 0.012), chronic renal
failure (HR = 1.76, 95% CI: 1.07-2.89, P = 0.026) and renal failure requiring dialysis
(HR = 2.32, 95% CI: 1.25-4.32, P = 0.008).
Conclusions and relevance: Long-term survival rates after diabetic vitrectomy in
Australia are similar to rates reported in other populations. Indigenous ethnicity
and chronic renal failure were the most significant factors associated with longterm
mortality. This information can guide allocation of future resources to
improve the prognosis of these high risk groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)598 - 604
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Optometry
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 8 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • diabetic retinopathy
  • vitrectomy
  • long-term mortality
  • Australia

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