Diabetic Retinopathy: Number of Cases to Reach 7.17 million by 2022, with Japan and the US in the Lead

LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 28 November 2013 - The total number of diabetic retinopathy prevalent cases in the seven major markets (7MM) — the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and Japan — is expected to increase from 4.89 million in 2012 to 7.17 million by 2022, at an Annual Growth Rate (AGR) of 4.68%, forecasts research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report* states that out of the 7MM, Japan and the US had the largest shares of diagnosed prevalent cases of diabetic retinopathy in 2012, with 2.99 million and 2.21 million cases, respectively. This trend will continue by 2022, when Japan will lead the 7MM with 3.55 million people affected by the condition.

Jessica Davies, GlobalData’s Epidemiologist, says: “Diabetic retinopathy is the principal cause of vision impairment in working-age adults throughout the world, and affects a third of diagnosed diabetics. High blood glucose levels in people with poorly-managed diabetes damage the small blood vessels in the retina, and therefore affect the vision.”

The major risk factors of the disease include the duration of diabetes, hyperglycemia, hypertension and dyslipidemia. Additionally, nearly all patients with type 1 diabetes, and an estimated 60% of patients with type 2 diabetes, are affected by diabetic retinopathy within 20 years of developing diabetes.
Davies says: “While the prevalence of diabetes is expected to increase, the incidence and prevalence of diabetic retinopathy should not be expected to grow at the same rate, due to effective management of blood glucose levels, blood pressure and serum lipid levels.
GlobalData emphasizes the importance of access to the screening and treatment of diabetic retinopathy in order to reduce the burden of diabetes-related vision loss.

“Effective prevention requires knowledge of the magnitude of the problem. Therefore, more prospective population-based studies, along with analysis of the factors mediating the causal pathway of diabetic retinopathy, are vital to comprehending the disease,” the epidemiologist concludes.


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