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    Care lacking for diabetic eye diseases worldwide

    Millions of adults around the world run the risk of losing their eyesight because of inattention to complications of diabetes, according to a team of international researchers.

    “A quarter of people with diabetes surveyed are not discussing eye complications with their health care professional, with many presenting when vision problems have already occurred,” the report said.

    The Diabetic Retinopathy Barometer Report was produced by the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), International Diabetes Federation (IDF), International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and Bayer Pharma. Bayer is working with Regeneron to market Regeneron’s aflibercept (Eylea), a treatment for diabetic retinopathy, worldwide.

    The researchers conducted a literature review. They surveyed 4,340 patients and 2,329 providers in 41 countries online, mostly in developed countries. They interviewed 48 providers and 73 patients in Germany, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Romania, Mexico, Argentina, Uganda, and Bangladesh to gain “qualitative” perspectives.

    The literature review provided some epidemiological context: 415 million adults were living with diabetes in 2015, of whom 75% were in developing countries, they found.

    By 2040, the number of adults with diabetes is set to rise to 642 million, about 10% of the adult population between ages 20 and 79 years, they said.

    This vast prevalence of diabetes has led to the spread of diabetic retinopathy, which causes 1% of all visual impairment in the world, the researchers found.

    In this study, 7.6% of adults with diabetes had diabetic macular oedema and 27% had either diabetic macular oedema or retinopathy. The rates of these eye diseases were slightly higher in Europe than in the Americas or the Western Pacific Region. A high proportion of people with diabetic eye diseases also had other complications of diabetes.

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