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Diabetic Retinopathy: A Pervasive Condition

Posted on: January 15th, 2024 by Our Team

A recent study published in JAMA Ophthalmology revealed an estimated 9.6 million people in the United States (24.6% of those with Diabetes) had Diabetic Retinopathy and 1.84 million people (5.1% of those with Diabetes) had Vision-Threatening Diabetic Retinopathy.  This is particularly concerning since the study also found the number of people over the age of 40 living with Diabetes-related eye disease, including Vision-Threatening Diabetic Retinopathy, has more than doubled over the last two decades, equating to approximately 1 in 4 Americans ages 40 and older.

Another important finding was that Vision-Threatening Diabetic Retinopathy prevalence rates are higher for Blacks (8.7%) and Hispanics (7.1%) compared to Whites (3.6%). Thus, a higher percentage of Blacks and Hispanics with Diabetes are at risk for vision loss compared to their White counterparts.  It was also revealed in the youngest age group studied, ages 0-24 years, more than 1 in 10 with Diabetes had Diabetic Retinopathy, which increased to nearly 1 in 5 among those with Diabetes ages 25-39 years. (Source: “The Prevalence of Diabetic Retinopathy in the U.S. in 2021, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vision Health Initiative, NORC at the University of Chicago and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.)

It is critical that Diabetic patients and those recently diagnosed with Diabetes see a Retina specialist who can regularly monitor vision, changes in vision and other factors and comorbidities that can exacerbate these serious conditions.

Union Square Eye Care encourages all those diagnosed with Diabetes to schedule an appointment to see our Retina specialists who can determine an appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan and indicate whether surgical intervention may be required.

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