Pune: One in five people above 50 are diabetic, says survey

Diabetic retinopathy is curable in early stages but if it advances it can cause permanent damage and a person might lose eyesight. In the survey, it was found that nearly two thirds of those who were surveyed had never done an eye check-up

Pune: One in five person above 50 is diabetic, says survey

  • In a recently conducted survey in Pune, it was found that every fifth person over the age of 50 years was diabetic and nearly 13 per cent of them had diabetic retinopathy.
  • The survey also revealed that over two third of them had never got their eyes checked for diabetic retinopathy.

H V Desai eye hospital had recently conducted a survey titled, ‘rapid assessment of avoidable blindness and diabetic retinopathy.’ The hospital will be conducting a meeting on January 20 with government officials and NGO’s, where the findings of the survey would be shared.

The sample size for the survey was chosen by the random sampling method across different wards in Pune Municipal Corporation region. The total sample size was 3,600. The investigators were trained by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Dr Sucheta Kulkarni, Medical Director of H V Desai eye hospital, said, “Diabetic retinopathy is curable in early stage but if it advances it can cause permanent damage and person might lose eyesight. In the survey, we found that nearly two thirds of those who were surveyed had never done an eye check-up. We have studies prevalence of blindness, the causes behind it and correlation between diabetes and blindness in our survey.”

She added, “People are not aware about diabetic retinopathy. Although India shares a huge global burden of people suffering from diabetes, not many are aware about how diabetes can affect vision. The purpose of the survey was to find out prevalence of blindness and correlation between diabetes and blindness. Now the aim would be to create awareness on how diabetic patients should go in for regular eye check-ups.”

Dr Col. M Deshpande, Chief Medical Director of the hospital, said, “Although prevalence of blindness is on the decline, cataract still remains the main cause of blindness. In the survey, we found that almost 47 per cent of blindness was caused due to cataract.”