Key findings

Data from the National Health Interview Survey

  • Among adults aged 45 and over with diagnosed diabetes, 32.2% had cataracts, 8.6% had diabetic retinopathy, 7.1% had glaucoma, and 4.3% had macular degeneration.
  • Among adults aged 45 and over with diagnosed diabetes, 9.2% had vision loss due to cataracts, 4.1% had vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy, 2.2% had vision loss due to macular degeneration, and 2.1% had vision loss due to glaucoma.
  • Compared with adults who have had diagnosed diabetes for less than 10 years, adults having diagnosed diabetes for 10 years or more were more likely to have each of these eye disorders and to have experienced vision loss due to cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration.

Diabetes increases with age. In 2017, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes increased from 13.2% among adults aged 45–64 to 20.1% among those aged 65–74 and 19.8% among those aged 75 and over (1). Compared with adults without diabetes, adults with diabetes are more likely to develop eye disorders and vision loss from eye disorders (2,3). Moreover, duration of diabetes is a risk factor for the progression of visual problems (3,4). This report compares the age-adjusted percentages of adults aged 45 and over with diagnosed diabetes who were told by a doctor or other health professional that they had cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or macular degeneration and vision loss due to these disorders, by years since their diabetes diagnosis.

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