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People with diabetes are more likely to get cataracts
Diabetes is a common disease that has a negative impact on various aspects of health. Researchers have now found that people with diabetes are twice as likely to get cataracts.
The researchers at Anglia Ruskin University found that people with diabetes suffer from cataracts twice as often compared to people without diabetes. The experts published the results of their study in the English-language specialist journal Eye.
Doctors analyze the data of over 56,500 diabetics
The current study found that people with diabetes between the ages of 45 and 54 are at increased risk of developing a cataract. For their study, the scientists analyzed the medical records of 56,510 people with diabetes aged 40 years or older. The emergence of a cataract was diagnosed with a total rate of 20.4 per 1,000, the authors explain. This corresponds to a rate of 10.8 per 1,000 in the general population.
Diabetics between the ages of 50 and 54 were particularly at risk
If the participants with diabetes were between 45 and 49 years old, this led to a 4.6 times higher probability of developing such an eye disease. People between the ages of 50 and 54 were five to seven times more at risk compared to healthy people, doctors add.
Where did the data come from?
Data from the so-called Clinical Practice Research Datalink were used for the study, which cover about seven percent of the British population and are representative of the entire demographic population in terms of age, gender and geographical distribution.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. An advanced cataract can be identified in those affected by the gray coloring of the pupil. This leads to the widespread term cataract. The clouded lens can be surgically removed in many cases. In this case, it is then replaced by an artificial lens implant. The cataract is one of the main causes of global vision loss. In a previous study by the Vision Loss Expert Group, it was previously discovered that the disease causes a significant loss of vision or blindness in 65 million people worldwide.
Diabetic maculopathy also increases the risk
The current study has shown that diabetes poses a double risk of diagnosing a cataract, explains author Professor Rupert Bourne from Anglia Ruskin University. The risk is about six times higher in diabetics if the patient has a significant diabetic retinal disorder called diabetic maculopathy, the expert adds.
Diabetics should have an eye screening done
This is only the second such research on cataract incidence in diabetes patients in the UK since the 1980s. The results underline the importance for a diabetic eye screening for the early detection and treatment of diabetic eye diseases in order to avoid a later loss of vision. The study is an interesting example of how a very large data set of electronic patient data can be used to examine risk factors for eye diseases. (as)