A sudden increase in eye diseases including cataracts and glaucoma may be linked to rising diabetes rates, says a new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Researchers found that visual impairments amongst adults in the U.S. rose roughly 21 percent between 1999 and 2008.
For the study researchers examined data collected on 10,480 adults as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found that nonrefractive visual impairment and diabetes rates seemed to grow at similar rates, implying a possible connection between the two.
Thus far they cannot speak on a definite link, but say that combined visual and diabetes care could be a valuable consideration:
"If the current finding becomes a persisting trend, it could result in increasing rates of disability in the U.S. population, including greater numbers of patients with end-organ diabetic damage who would require ophthalmic care," the researchers write in their paper, which appears this month in Journal of the American Medical Association.
by RTT Staff Writer
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