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Visual impairment more common in people with diabetes, study says

Article

Visual impairment may be more common in people with diabetes than in those without the disease, according to a study in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Atlanta-Visual impairment may be more common in people with diabetes than in those without the disease, according to a study in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

About 14.6 million Americans had diagnosed diabetes mellitus in 2005 and another 6.2 million had undiagnosed diabetes, according to background information in the article. It is estimated that the number of individuals with diagnosed diabetes will increase to 48.3 million by 2050.

"Diabetic retinopathy, one of the most common microvascular complications of diabetes, is considered to be one of the major causes of blindness and low vision," the authors write.

Although studies suggest that controlling glucose and blood pressure have reduced the rate of retinal diseases, other ocular conditions suffered by diabetic patients, such as cataract and glaucoma, may increase the risk of visual impairment.

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