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Increase In Nonrefractive Visual Impairment In US Tied To Diabetes.


This is precisely why yearly [or as directed by your eye doctor] diabetic eye examination is critical.

 

Increase In Nonrefractive Visual Impairment In US Tied To Diabetes.

Print media covered a study suggesting that an increasing percentage of Americans are losing their eyesight due to the complications of diabetes. Because diabetes rates are on the rise, so are the complications of the illness, including those that affect eyesight.
        USA Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (12/10, Szabo, Today) reports, “The nation’s twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes are beginning to rob more Americans of their sight,” according to a study Share to FacebookShare to Twitter published Dec. 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “The percentage of American adults suffering from uncorrectable vision loss spiked 21% in only about six years, rising to nearly 1.7% of the population, according to an analysis of the years 1999-2002 to 2005-08.” However, “rates of visual impairment doubled among poor people and those who had had diabetes for a decade or more,” the study found.
        The Los Angeles Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (12/11, Brown) “Booster Shots” blog reports that investigators, “led by Dr. David S. Friedman of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, gathered survey and physical examination data collected from 9,471 US adults over the age of 20 in 1999 to 2002 and from another set of 10,480 Americans in 2005 to 2008.” Then, “after analyzing a series of variables, including age, sex, race, schooling, income, obesity, diabetes diagnosis and amount of time since diabetes diagnosis, as well as visual impairment, they found that most of the risk factors for visual impairment had decreased or remained stable between the two time periods. The exception was prevalence of diabetes diagnosed at least 10 years previously, which climbed.”
        Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (12/12, Ostrow) reports that “the rate of non-refractive visual impairment jumped 21 percent in 2005-2008 from 1999-2002,” the study found. “About 2.15 million people in the US ages 20 and older suffer from non-refractive visual impairment, which can take surgery or lasers to repair, said” Friedman. “Based on today’s findings, more effort is needed to prevent diabetes and ensure that those who have the disease get yearly eye exams, he said.”
        The Huffington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (12/11) points out, “Non-Hispanic white people between ages 20 and 39 had a 40 percent increase in nonrefractive visual impairments, with the prevalence going up from 0.5 percent in 1999-2002 to 0.7 percent in 2005-2008.” The study authors “reported that factors such as poverty, diabetes and lower education level are all linked with these kinds of visual impairments, but that only diabetes has actually increased between the two time periods — suggesting that it could play a role in the increased rates.”
        According to MedPage Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (12/12), an accompanying editorial Share to FacebookShare to Twitter “concluded that the study findings should ‘stimulate funding for new and ongoing efforts to prevent the underlying causes that lead to diabetes and its complications, such as obesity-prevention programs aimed at children and adolescents.'” MedPage Today notes, “The study was supported by a grant from the CDC, the David Friedman Research Grant Award, the National Eye Institute, and the National Center for Health Statistics.”

        Also covering the story are Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (12/12, Pittman), HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (12/12, Gordon), WebMD Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (12/12, Mann), and Medscape Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (12/12, Brown). 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2012/12/10/diabetes-obesity-vision-loss/1759777/