NYU Of DentistryThis news deals with the link between retinal disease as well as diabetes. Race seems to play a role even in this one. A study claims that elevated consumption of calories and sodium apparently connect with the development of retinal disease among African American patients suffering from diabetes.

Diabetic retinopathy is claimed to be the principal reason for blindness among 20- to 64-year-olds with diabetes. These details were provided as background information. The condition arises when diabetes-related alterations increases the body damage of the blood vessels of the retina. Proliferative retinopathy and macular edema are together known as vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy. It is claimed to be the two main reasons for vision loss in patients with diabetes.

Monique S. Roy, M.D., of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, and Malvin N. Janal, Ph.D., of the New York University College of Dentistry, evaluated around 469 African American patients suffering from type 1 diabetes who initially enlisted in the study between 1993 and 1998. After about a six-year follow-up, between 1999 and 2004, the subjects finished a food frequency questionnaire. They also underwent an inclusive eye assessment, experienced blood testing and had images of the retina taken to decide the development of diabetic retinopathy.

People with the maximum caloric consumption at the commencement of the study seemed to have more chances to contract vision-threatening retinopathy by the end of the six-year duration. Additionally, high sodium intake at the preliminary assessment appeared to be linked with the growth of macular edema.

The authors commented, “In African American patients with type 1 diabetes, high caloric and sodium intakes are significant and independent risk factors for progression to severe forms of diabetic retinopathy.”

The authors concluded by mentioning that these results suggest that low caloric and sodium intakes in African American individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus may have a beneficial effect on the progression of diabetic retinopathy and thus might be part of dietary recommendations for this population.

The study was published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.