© 2016 Rodríguez-Poncelas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Purpose To explore the relationship between chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) in a representative population of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) patients in Catalonia (Spain). Methods This was a population-based, cross-sectional study. A total of 28,344 patients diagnosed with DM2 who had recorded ophthalmologic and renal functional examinations were evaluated. Data were obtained from a primary healthcare electronic database of medical records. CKD was defined as an estimated glomerular filtration ratio (eGFR) of <60 ml/min/1.73m2 and/or urine albumin to creatinine ratio (UACR) ≥30 mg/g. DR was categorized as nonvision threatening diabetic retinopathy and vision threatening diabetic retinopathy. Results CKD was associated with a higher rate of DR [OR], 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5 (1.4-1.7). When we analyzed the association between different levels of UACR and DR prevalence observed that DR prevalence rose with the increase of UACR levels, and this association was significant from UACR values ≥10 mg/g, and increased considerably with UACR values ≥300mg/g (Odds ratio [OR], 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0 (1.6-2.5). This association was lower in patients with eGFR levels 44 to 30 mL/min/1.73m2 [OR], 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3 (1.1-1.6).Conclusions These results show that CKD, high UACR and/or low eGFR, appear to be associated with DR in this DM2 population.