The study aims to explore the distribution characteristics and influencing factors of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in diabetes mellitus (DM) patients and association rules of eye diseases in these patients. Data were obtained from 1284 DM patients at Henan Provincial People’s Hospital. Association rules were employed to calculate the probability of the common occurrence of eye-related diseases in DM patients. A web visualization network diagram was used to display the association rules of the eye-related diseases in DM patients. DR prevalence in people aged < 40 years (≥ 58.5%) was higher than that in those aged 50-60 years (≤ 43.7%). Patients with DM in rural areas were more likely to have DR than those in urban areas (56.2% vs. 35.6%, P < 0.001). DR prevalence in Pingdingshan City (68.4%) was significantly higher than in other cities. The prevalence of DR in patients who had DM for ≥ 5 years was higher than in other groups (P < 0.001). About 33.07% of DM patients had both diabetic maculopathy and DR, and 36.02% had both diabetic maculopathy and cataracts. The number of strong rules in patients ≥ 60 years old was more than those in people under 60 in age, and those in rural areas had more strong rules than those in urban areas. DM patients with one or more eye diseases are at higher risks of other eye diseases than general DM patients. These association rules are affected by factors such as age, region, disease duration, and DR severity.© 2021. The Author(s).
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