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Decline in New Cases of Blindness in Germany

Decline in New Cases of Blindness in Germany
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MONDAY, Jan. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) — In Germany, there was a significant reduction in incidence of blindness from 2008 through 2012, both among individuals with and without diabetes, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in Diabetes Care.

Heiner Claessen, Ph.D., from Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany, and colleagues used administrative data to identify 1,897 newly registered recipients of blindness allowance from 2008 through 2012. The incidence of blindness was compared in persons with and without diabetes.

The researchers found that 23.7 percent of the new cases of blindness were associated with diabetes. Over the study period there was a strong decrease in incidence in both the population with diabetes (16 percent decrease per year) and among those without diabetes (9 percent decrease per year). Results were similar for both sexes.

“We found a significant reduction in incidence of blindness in the populations with and without diabetes, which was more prominent among individuals with diabetes compared with the 1990s,” the authors write. “Our findings may be explained by effective secondary prevention therapies and improved ophthalmologic care beyond diabetic retinopathy, particularly regarding macular degeneration, which means earlier detection and earlier and better treatment.”

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