Study shows elderly black, Hispanic diabetes patients have greater risk of losing eyesight

12/11/2008

NEW YORK Elderly blacks and Hispanics face the greatest risk of losing their vision due to diabetes over the next 40 years, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in The Archives of Ophthalmology.

The disproportionate numbers among them results from higher instances of Type 2, or adult-onset diabetes. In 2005, 5.5 million adults aged 40 and older in the United States had diabetes-related blindness, also known as diabetic retinopathy; in 2050, according to the report, that number could reach 16 million.

In addition to diabetic retinopathy, diabetes also increases the risk of cataracts and glaucoma, and the incidence of glaucoma will increase 12 times among Hispanics with diabetes aged 65 and older; among blacks with diabetes aged 75 and older, the incidence of cataracts will increase 7 times.

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