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    Diabetic retinopathy and macular oedema increase in Spain

    Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema are both increasing in Spain, especially among relatively young people, researchers said. 

    “Our results suggest a greater number of ocular complications in the near future, such as neovascular glaucoma, if these current findings are not addressed,” wrote Pedro Romero-Aroca, and colleagues from University Rovira and Virgili in Reus, Spain.

    They published their findings in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

    Related: Why primary angle-closure glaucoma is declining in Scotland

    Diabetes mellitus is on the rise worldwide. In Spain, previous projections show an 11.1% increase in prevalence, reaching 3.886 million people by 2030. The disease can lead to diabetic retinopathy, a common cause of blindness in Europe.

    Researchers have noticed a significant increase in the incidence of diabetic retinopathy since 2011. They noted increases in its severe forms and diabetic macular oedema, especially in young patients.

    Researchers screened 15,396 Caucasian patients with diabetes mellitus over the course of eight years, with a mean of 3.18 visits. This was 86.53% of the 17,792 patients with diabetes mellitus who received care from general practitioners in 16 health care areas covered by the university medical centre.

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    There were more men than women in the sample, which is typical of the prevalence of diabetes in the population as a whole.

    The researchers found that the mean yearly incidence of any diabetic retinopathy remained stable from 2007 to 2011, when the incidence rate was 8.09%. From there, the rates began to climb with an incidence of 8.11% in 2011, 8.77% in 2012, 8.92% in 2013, and 8.99% in 2014.

    Diabetic macular oedema

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