Diabetic retinopathy defined

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision.

2010 U.S. age-specific prevalence rates for diabetic retinopathy by age and race/ethnicity

Hispanic Americans age 50 and older are at high risk for developing glaucoma. Among people age 75 and older, 19 percent of Hispanic Americans had the disease in 2010, compared with seven percent of blacks and whites.

2010 U.S. prevalence rates for diabetic retinopathy by age and race

2010 prevalence rates of diabetic retinopathy by race

In 2010, Hispanic Americans age 50 and older had the highest rates of diabetic retinopathy (eight percent) compared with a five percent prevalence rate in blacks and whites.

2010 prevalence rates of diabetic retinopathy by race

2010 U.S. prevalent cases of diabetic retinopathy (in thousands) by race/ethnicity

In 2012, the majority (68 percent) of Americans with diabetic retinopathy were white. Hispanic Americans accounted for 16 percent of cases and black Americans accounted for 11 percent.

2010 U.S. prevalent cases of diabetic retinopathy by race

2010 U.S. prevalent cases of diabetic retinopathy (in thousands) by gender

Diabetic retinopathy affects men and women about equally. In 2010, 51 percent of U.S. cases occurred in women compared with 49 percent in men.

2010 U.S. prevalent cases of diabetic retinopathy by gender

Projections for diabetic retinopathy (2010-2030-2050)

From 2010 to 2050, the number of Americans with diabetic retinopathy is expected to nearly double, from 7.7 million to 14.6 million. Hispanic Americans are expected to see the greatest increase in cases, rising more than three-fold from 1.2 million to 5.3 million.

Projections for diabetic retinopathy in 2030 and 2050 by race

Changes of cases between 2000 and 2010

From 2000 to 2010, the number of cases of diabetic retinopathy increased 89 percent from 4.06 million to 7.69 million.

Cases of diabetic retinopathy in 2000 and 2010
Last updated: July 17, 2019