Most Older Adults Have Eyes Examined, But Disparities Remain

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Joshua R. Ehrlich, MD, MPH Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Kellogg Eye Center Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences University of Michigan

Dr. Ehrlich

Joshua R. Ehrlich, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Kellogg Eye Center
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
University of Michigan 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: This study came out of data collected as part of the National Poll on Healthy Aging (NPHA). The NPHA is funded by AARP and the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan to inform the public, healthcare providers, and policymakers on a variety issues related to health. The vision survey, conducted in March 2018, was just one of many NPHA surveys.

Due to aging of the population, the number of older U.S. adults with blindness and vision impairment is expected to double over the next 30 years. Thus, this study was designed to provide crucial data  on contemporary data on patterns of eye care utilization in older adults.

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Primary Care Settings Offer Opportunity for Wider Screening for Diabetic Retinopathy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Diane M. Gibson, Ph.D. Executive Director – New York Federal Statistical Research Data Center, Baruch RDC Associate Professor – Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College - CUNY

Dr. Gibson

Diane M. Gibson, Ph.D.
Executive Director – New York Federal Statistical Research Data Center, Baruch RDC
Associate Professor – Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College – CUNY

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Prior studies have found that screening for diabetic retinopathy in primary care settings using telemedicine increased screening rates among individuals with diabetes and among subgroups of individuals with diabetes who are at high risk of missing recommended eye exams.  In a previous paper I looked at how often U.S. adults with diabetes visited primary care and eye care providers for recommended diabetes preventive care services using a sample from the 2007-2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.  I found that while visits to eye care providers were often skipped, most adults with diabetes did visit primary care physicians.  I argued that these findings suggest that screening for diabetic retinopathy in primary care settings using telemedicine has the potential to fulfill unmet needs and reach most U.S. adults with diabetes.

My brief report in JAMA Ophthalmology examines patterns of eye examination receipt and visits to primary care physicians among U.S. adults with diabetes using a sample from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey.  The report pays particular attention to individuals who are at high-risk of missing recommended eye exams.

The study found that 87.7% of the sample of adults with diabetes visited a primary care physician in the past year and that, except for the uninsured subgroup, more than 78% of each high-risk subgroup visited a primary care provider in the past year.  Continue reading

Diabetes: Study Find Statins Protect Against Vision Loss

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Blausen.com staff (2014). "Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014". WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436. Illustration depicting diabetic retinopathy

Illustration depicting diabetic retinopathy

Eugene Yu-Chuan Kang, MD.
House Staff,
Department of Ophthalmology
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
Chang Gung University, School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

 

Response: More and more patients suffered from diabetes mellitus (DM) around the world, as well diabetic complications such as diabetic retinopathy (DR). DR is one of the major causes of blindness in working-age adults. In addition to the cost of treatment for patients with advanced DR, loss of visual function also yields a great burden to the family and society. For advanced DR, surgical interventions such as retinal laser, intravitreal injection, and vitrectomy are needed. However, those surgical interventions for severe DR can only retard or stop disease progression. If DR can be prevented or slowed by medical treatments, the burden of medical costs for treating severe DR may be decreased.

Statin, an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, was discussed frequently in the recent years. Multiple functions of statins besides their lipid lowering effect were discovered. Previous investigations have reported that statin therapy could reduce mortality rate and decrease risk of cardiovascular diseases.

In our study, we wanted to figure out if statin therapy may have any association between diabetic retinopathy.  Continue reading

Electronic Health Record Reminders Help Patients Adhere to Glaucoma Medications

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michael Vincent Boland, M.D., Ph.D. Glaucoma Center of Excellence Director of Information Technology, Wilmer Eye Institute Associate Professor of Ophthalmology Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, Maryland

Dr. Boland

Michael Vincent Boland, M.D., Ph.D.
Glaucoma Center of Excellence
Director of Information Technology, Wilmer Eye Institute
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Effective medications are available to treat glaucoma and prevent or stop vision loss.

Unfortunately, patients frequently do not use the eye drops as prescribed, oftentimes simply
because they forget to. Since patient medications are now managed via electronic health
records (EHRs), we built a system to deliver automated reminders to patients using the patient
portal to our EHR.

We found that the majority (75%, 66 of 88) of participants that received these reminders found them to be useful, and about half (47%, 41 of 88) the participants wanted to

continue using the reminders after the study ended

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