Low-income minorities suffer more diabetic retinopathy

Recent data published in the journal Diabetes Care suggests that low-income minority patients aren't seeking out annual eye care screenings – and diabetic retinopathy is on the rise among these populations.

The study found that non-Hispanic whites seek out eye care more frequently than minority patients, and that lack of health insurance may have been the biggest barrier to having these critical exams. Alarmingly, diabetic minority patients were actually found to seek out eye care less often at the end of the study than they did at the start of the study period in 2002.

Lack of preventative care in part to blame

According to the National Eye Institute, as many as 50 percent of Hispanics with diabetes show symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, a condition that impairs vision and eventually can lead to blindness.

“This study showed that Latinos develop certain vision conditions at different rates than other ethnic groups,” Rohit Varma, M.D., M.P.H., said in a press release.“The burden of vision loss and eye disease on the Latino community is increasing as the population ages, and many eye diseases are becoming more common.”

The researchers noted that health care system factors were responsible for the disparities in eye care seen in the study.

Affordable Care Act may help

New healthcare laws under the Affordable Care Act could help about eight in 10 uninsured minorities qualify for some type of eye care, reports the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Latinos who prefer Spanish can enroll through CuidadoDeSalud.gov, the Spanish language website where consumers can go to create accounts, complete an online application, and shop for health plans that fit their budget and needs,” the agency stated.

If costly eye exam screenings are covered, minorities might be more likely to seek out care, the study authors suggested.

Source: Huffington Post

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

Today, the healing benefits of essential oils are more than the claims of ancient tradition and alternative medicine. They are increasingly the...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your...

There is nothing close to a one-size-fits-all exercise program for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The best general advice is to...

More Articles

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

There is nothing close to a one-size-fits-all exercise program for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The best general advice is to...

”Metabolic memory” (less commonly known as ”hyperglycemic memory” or “legacy effect”) refers to the lingering effects of a long period of either...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

With such a marked increase in the number of new diabetes cases, more people are wondering if type 1 diabetes...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

The American Diabetes Association estimates that more than 7 million people in the United States have diabetes but don’t know it yet. These people...

While some celebrities aren't quick to talk about living with diabetes, others are quite transparent and inspiring - acting as advocates for the...

People with diabetes are about twice as likely to experience heart disease as those without the condition, making cardiovascular health a critical...

Pilates is an exercise method proven to improve flexibility, strength, coordination, muscular stamina, balance, and posture. Many Pilates...

All diabetics know that maintaining proper blood sugar levels is the lifeline...

It can be difficult enough to get on stage and make a roomful of strangers laugh, but for comedians suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes,...

Most people with insulin-dependent diabetes use syringes and lancets every day. However, many of them do not know how to dispose of these...

Explaining diabetes to children can seem like a daunting task, but in reality, it is no more difficult than discussing anything else important....

Diabetes is a complex disease, affecting virtually every part of the body. The damage it does, to nerve endings, blood vessels, organs, and the...