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Diabetic Retinopathy a Major Threat to Global Health

Published May 18, 2016

New Silver Book®: Diabetic Retinopathy Factsheet Highlights Stats, Challenges, and Opportunities

Infographic on diabetic retinopathy.

Washington, D.C., May 18, 2016 – Today the Alliance for Aging Research released The Silver Book®: Diabetic Retinopathy, a factsheet that gives an overview of the threat the eye disease presents to global health. It is the latest addition in the Silver Book®: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in an Aging Nation series.

(Click here for the press kit.)

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, affecting as many as 126 million people with diabetes—and potentially as many as 191 million by 2030. An irreversible disease, it is becoming increasingly common in both industrialized and developing countries.

The Silver Book®: Diabetic Retinopathy illustrates the seriousness of the problem through statistics and infographics focused on the human and economic burden of the disease. The factsheet highlights innovative screening and treatment techniques that can reduce these burdens. It also presents an overview of the challenges and opportunities for countries seeking to institute appropriate policies that will effectively promote education, screening, detection, and management of DR.

“Globally, 35 percent of people with diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy, and the problem is growing. Many people are not aware of the severity of this condition and the critical importance of early detection,” says Alliance Vice President of Health Programs Lindsay Clarke. “This factsheet will serve as an essential educational tool for policymakers around the globe about the dangers of DR as well as how countries can take action to prevent it.”

The factsheet is available digitally at the Silver Book® site as well as in print.

To launch the factsheet, the Alliance will host a webcast on May 19 at 10 a.m. ET featuring experts from the International Diabetes Federation and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. They will discuss the burden of the disease, as well as challenges and opportunities in global DR management. The event is open to the public, and more information can be found here.

The Silver Book® has become a trusted resource for policymakers and thought leaders interested in public policy that helps older Americans live in better health. The Silver Book®: Diabetic Retinopathy was supported by a grant from Bayer Pharma AG.

For more information, please contact Noel Lloyd, director of communications, at 202.370.7852 or through email.

About the Alliance for Aging Research
The Alliance for Aging Research is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application in order to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health. The Alliance was founded in 1986 in Washington, D.C., and has since become a valued advocacy organization and a respected influential voice with policymakers. Visit for more information.


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