Projection Studies

Projecting the Numbers of People with Eye Diseases in the United States through 2050

The purpose of the project is to develop a model which projects the numbers of people with eye diseases (i.e., diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataract, and macular degeneration) among those with and without diabetes in the United States. The model also projects costs associated with these eye diseases.

Diabetes is a major cause of morbidity and premature mortality in the United States, and is the leading cause of blindness among working-age adults. Diabetic retinopathy causes 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year, and among an estimated 10 million U.S. adults aged 40 years and older known to have diabetes, prevalence rates for retinopathy and vision threatening retinopathy are 40% and 8%, respectively. Furthermore, diabetes disproportionately affects minority populations and the elderly, and the disease burden and associated costs of diabetes is likely to increase as minority populations grow and the total population becomes older. When changes in past determinates of disease are expected, public health policy is best informed by projections which report plausible scenarios reflecting the anticipated changes.

In 2001 RTI developed a static projection model of the prevalence and numbers of people with diagnosed diabetes in the United States by year, age group, race and sex through 2050. This follow-up project updated these projections and used the results, along with historical prevalence of eye diseases, to project the number of people with eye diseases (diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataract, and macular degeneration) among those with and without diabetes by year, age group, race, and sex through 2050.


Saaddine JB, Honeycutt AA, Narayan KM, Zhang X, Klein R, Boyle JP. Projection of diabetic retinopathy and other major eye diseases among people with diabetes mellitus: United States, 2005–2050. Arch Ophthalmol 2008;126(12):1740–1747.
Summary | AbstractExternal

Rein DB, Wittenborn JS, Zhang X, Honeycutt AA, Lesesne SB, Saaddine J. Forecasting are-related macular degeneration through the year 2050: the potential impact of new treatments. Arch Ophthalmol 2009;127(4):533–540.

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