According to the article, diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the most common eye complication associated with diabetes mellitus (DM). The retina is the light-collecting layer of cells at the back of the eye that converts light into signals, which are sent to the brain via the optic nerve where they are translated into images.
Monique S. Roy, M.D., of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey New Jersey Medical School, Newark, and colleagues estimated the prevalence of DR among people with type 1 DM in the United States using data from two large studies and population data from the 2000 U.S. Census. Type 1 diabetes usually develops at a young age (frequently in childhood) and generally requires treatment with insulin.
The researchers found that among 209 million Americans 18 years and older, an estimated 889,000 have type 1 DM diagnosed before age 30. Among people with type 1 DM, the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was 74.9 percent for blacks, and 82.3 percent for whites. The prevalence of vision-threatening retinopathy was 30 percent for black persons and 32.3 percent for whites. The researchers also found that the prevalence of DR due to type 1 DM diagnosed before age 30 in the general population 18 years and older is estimated at 767,000 persons having DR of any degree of severity (0.37 percent) and 376,000 people having vision-threatening retinopathy (0.18 percent).
"Retinopathy due to type 1 DM is an important public health problem in the United States, affecting one per 300 persons 18 and older, and one per 600 persons with advanced, vision
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