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US-Mexico Symposium highlights international collaborations, diabetic eye disease research

January 31, 2023
Speakers at a lectern with US and Mexico flags.

Scenes from the U.S.-Mexico symposium.

Researchers, clinicians, and public health and policy experts from the US, Mexico, and around the world met this past week in Mexico City for a two-day symposium. The meeting, titled “Strengthening International Partnerships to Reduce the Impact of Diabetes on Eye Health,” explored the challenges and latest developments in treating diabetic eye disease.

This symposium was the second of its kind; the first, which took place in January 2021, explored vision health inequities in the United States and Mexico. This latest symposium focused on diabetes as one of the major causes of vision loss for both countries.

Diabetic eye diseases are a leading cause of vision loss around the world, with up to 500 million people currently living with diabetes. Many people in Mexico, the United States and elsewhere are unaware they have diabetes, leading to delays in eye disease detection and treatment, and a higher risk of vision impairment. Diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes, can lead to blindness if untreated. Additional ocular complications of diabetes include glaucoma and cataract.

The aim of the symposium was to develop new international collaborations and public health strategies to improve access to care for underserved populations and reduce diabetes-related vision loss.