Prevent Blindness Educates Public for November as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

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CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness has declared November as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month in an effort to help educate the public om the effects of diabetes on vision, types of diabetic eye disease, risk factors and treatment options.

A study titled, “The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” from Prevent Blindness, found that more than eight million Americans have diabetic retinopathy. As the rates of diabetes cases grow across the country, so do the projected rates of diabetic eye disease, with a 35 percent increase to 10.9 million by 2032 and a 63 percent increase to 13.2 million by 2050.

The study also found that, unlike other eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and macular degeneration, more men than women have diabetic retinopathy. Hispanic populations are also projected to exhibit extremely high growth in diabetic retinopathy cases. Currently, 67 percent of cases are among whites and 17 percent among Hispanics. By 2050, projections are that 45 percent of diabetic retinopathy patients will be white and 35 percent will be Hispanic.

“Diabetes is a very serious chronic condition that can cause damage to many parts of the body, including the eyes,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.

For more information on diabetic eye disease, call Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020 or visit www.preventblindness.org/diabetes.