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Diabetes-Related Visual Impairment Declining in U.S.

Self-reported data suggests significant downward trend

THURSDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Self-reported visual impairment in adults with diabetes has declined significantly in the last 14 years, while annual contact with eye care providers remains unchanged, according to a report published in the Nov. 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Nilka R. Burrows, M.P.H., of the CDC in Atlanta, examined data from the 1997 to 2010 National Health Interview Survey to assess trends in the prevalence of self-reported visual impairment among adults with diabetes in the United States.

The researchers found that the age-adjusted percentage of adults with diabetes reporting visual impairment fell from 23.7 percent in 1997 to 16.7 percent in 2010. This decrease occurred among most categories of adults with diabetes, including those aged 45 and older. Consultations with eye care providers held steady at about 63 percent.

"Continued efforts are needed to sustain and improve the declining trends in self-reported visual impairment and to increase rates of recommended eye examinations in the population with diabetes," the authors write.

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