Background/Aims: In Portugal, so far, there is no study or even accurate data on the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR), based on a large representative sample and on a long-term follow-up. The objective of our study was to determine the prevalence of DR based on a national screening community-based programme. Methods: A 5-year retrospective analysis of the RETINODIAB screening programme Results: was implemented in Lisbon and Tagus Valley area between July 2009 and October 2014. We estimated the prevalence of retinopathy for all patients with type 2 diabetes and studied the association between known risk factors and retinopathy emergence at their first screening. Results: Throughout this period, from a total of 103 102 DR readable screening examinations, 52 739 corresponded to patients who attended RETINODIAB screening at entry. Globally, DR was detected in 8584 patients (16.3%). Of these, 5484 patients (10.4%) had mild non-proliferative (NP) DR, 1457 patients (2.8%) had moderate NPDR and 672 (1.3%) had severe NPDR. Finally, 971 patients (1.8%) had proliferative DR requiring urgent referral to an ophthalmologist. The presence of any DR, non-referable DR or referable DR was strongly associated with increasing duration of diabetes and earlier age at diagnosis. Conclusions: The prevalence rate of DR in our study (16.3%) was slightly lower than other published international data. The RETINODIAB network proved to be an effective screening programme as it improved DR screening in Lisbon and Tagus Valley surrounding area.