. Purpose: This study set out to map the associations between retinal lesions, visual acuity (VA) and the presence of clinically significant macular oedema (CSMO) in diabetes subjects. Methods: This cross-sectional study comprised 656 type 1 and 328 type 2 diabetes subjects undergoing retinopathy screening in the County of North Jutland, Denmark. Numbers of specific retinal lesions were quantified from retinal photographic recordings. Associations between CSMO, number of specific retinal lesions and VA were established. The percentages of eyes with CSMO ascribed to retinal lesions were calculated. Results: The presence of CSMO, number of specific retinal lesions and VA were all significantly associated. The parameter with the highest statistical association with CSMO measured by Spearman's correlation coefficient was hard exudates (type 1: 0.524; type 2: 0.715), followed by microaneurysms (type 1: 0.298; type 2: 0.508), retinal haemorrhages (type 1: 0.227; type 2: 0.595), cottonwool spots (type 1: 0.207; type 2: 0.259) and VA (type 1: - 0.137; type 2: - 0,175). Conclusions: All retinal lesions are significantly associated with CSMO and together can predict for up to 42.3% (in type 1 diabetes) and 64.3% (in type 2 diabetes) of CSMO cases.