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Increasing rate of eyesight loss may be from diabetes

A new study says an increasing number of Americans are losing their eyesight, which may be a result of diabetes.

CBS News cites research concluding that from 1999 through 2002, about 1.4 percent of Americans had visual impairment. That percentage rose to 1.7 percent between 2005 and 2008, representing a 21 percent rise in rates. For non-Hispanic white Americans between 20 and 39 years old, that increase amounted to 40 percent.

Further analysis of the data showed a 22 percent increase in diabetes prevalence among the overall American population from 1999-2002 through 2005-2008. During that span, diabetes rates rose for non-Hispanic whites between age 20 and 39 by 133 percent.

According to the story, diabetes can damage blood vessels in the eye and potentially cause impairment and blindness.

Although diabetes is treatable, some treatments carry hazards of their own. For example, studies have linked the diabetes medications Byetta and Januvia to pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Byetta has also been linked to an increased risk of thyroid cancer.

The story says researchers who conducted the eyesight study reviewed data from a nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which included about 10,000 people aged 20 and older. Participants completed questionnaires during each time period and were also given physical examinations, including an eye exam.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns, and before making any changes in medication. You should also consult with a Lopez McHugh attorney if you or a loved one was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after taking Januvia or Byetta.

See the story here: