The incidence of diabetes continues to increase, particularly among African Americans. 3.7 million African Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes. Studies show that African Americans with diabetes are more likely to develop diabetic complications and experience greater disability from the complications than white Americans with diabetes. The only way to prevent this is through strict glucose control and by having an annual dilated eye exam.
“Diabetes is an epidemic in the African American community,” said Congressman and House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (SC-6). “People with diabetes are 25 times more likely to go blind and African Americans with diabetes are at an even higher risk—almost 50 percent more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes, it’s critically important for you to receive an annual diabetic eye exam, because it will help detect and prevent eye disease.”
For every white American who gets diabetes, 1.6 African Americans get diabetes and one in four black women, 55 years of age or older, has diabetes. Diabetes is associated with an increased risk for a number of serious and sometimes life-threatening complications, including blindness, heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Managing your diabetes can help reduce your risk.
Watch the PSA with Congressman and House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn stressing the importance for African Americans with diabetes to get an annual diabetic eye exam.
Take the pledge to get an annual diabetic eye exam to protect your vision, or share this important information with friends and family. Get Eyesmart, Eyecommitted today.
NOTE TO EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: 30 second PSA and interviews with clinical correspondents available upon request.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
AAO is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons—Eye M.D.s—with more than 27,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three “O’s” – opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit the Academy’s Web site at www.aao.org.
About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to stop diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.
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