Many Hispanic Diabetics Unaware of Risk for Eye Disease, Study Finds
Many newly diagnosed diabetic Hispanics are unaware that their condition increases their risk for eye disease, according to a study published in the July issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Hispanics have a diabetes rate that is 1.9 times higher than the rate of whites. In addition, one in five Hispanics older than age 40 has diabetes; half of those have diabetic retinopathy, an eye condition that causes swelling and leaking of blood vessels in the eye, according to the Inquirer.
For the study, researchers from Johns Hopkins University interviewed 553 Hispanics from Baltimore; 204 of them had diabetes and 349 did not. Thirty-six percent of newly diagnosed diabetics were aware of the disease's link to an increased risk for eye disease, compared with 52% of those who had been diagnosed with the condition for more than a year. Only 30% of all participants had received an eye examination in the last year, which could have identified potential problems (Avril, Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/15).
An abstract of the study is available online.