Vision Problems in the U.S. estimated the 2010 population with diabetic retinopathy to be 7.7 million. We project this total is now 8.1 million.
Diabetic retinopathy incidence is highest among persons with more advanced diabetes. Due largely to the high mortality risk among this population, diabetic retinopathy patients have an average age of 66 years, the youngest of any of the included eye diseases. The low rate of diabetic retinopathy among the oldest age groups exhibiting high projected growth translates into the lowest projected increase among any of the included diseases. We project total cases of diabetic retinopathy to increase by 35% to 10.9 million by 2032, and by 63% to 13.2 million by 2050. More men than women are affected by diabetic retinopathy, a trend we expect to continue in the future.
Vision problems in the U.S. identified extremely high prevalence rates of diabetic retinopathy among older Hispanics. Consequently, Hispanics are projected to exhibit extremely high growth in diabetic retinopathy cases. Currently, 67% of cases are among whites and 17% among Hispanics. By 2050 we project that 45% of diabetic retinopathy patients will be white and 35% will be Hispanic.