This is a cross-sectional study of a Chinese urban population. Four hundred and fifty-five subjects with type 2 diabetes were recruited and divided into diabetic patients without retinopathy (DWR) group and DR group based on their retinal status. CSMO (clinically significant macular oedema) was diagnosed by stereoscopic photography. Demographic and lifestyle characteristics were ascertained by questionnaire. General physical and ophthalmic examinations were completed for all subjects. Dietary antioxidants were assessed by 3-day food records. Subjects who have taken any type of vitamin supplements were excluded from the study. The association of dietary antioxidants with the risk for DR was analysed by logistic regression with adjustment of other factors. The dietary antioxidants levels of the CSMO subjects and non-CSMO subjects were compared using the Wilcoxon rank sum test.
One hundred and nineteen subjects in DR group and 336 subjects in DWR group participated in the study. Only ten DR subjects had CSMO. The results showed that higher vitamin E (OR (95% CI):0.97 (0.95, 1.00), P = 0.036) and selenium (OR (95% CI):0.98 (0.96, 1.00), P = 0.017) intake appear to be the protective factors of DR. The dietary antioxidants levels of CSMO and non-CSMO subjects had no statistical differences (P > 0.05).
Dietary antioxidants intake, particularly vitamin E and selenium, were observed to have protective effects on DR.