An American congressman has urged all African Americans with diabetes to make sure they get their annual diabetic eye exam.
James E Clyburn, a house majority whip, released the message in a public service announcement in conjunction with the American Academy of Ophthalmology"s (AAO"s) EyeSmart campaign and the American Diabetes Association"s Stop Diabetes movement.
Diabetes is on the increase in the US, especially among the African American population for every white American who gets diabetes, 1.6 African Americans get the disease.
Mr Clyburn said: "Diabetes is an epidemic in the African American community."
"People with diabetes are 25 times more likely to go blind and African Americans with diabetes are at an even higher risk - almost 50 percent more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy," he added.
He urged people with diabetes to make sure they get an annual diabetic eye exam to help detect and prevent eye disease.
Revolutionary new contact lenses being developed at the University of Western Ontario could prove useful for diabetic patients by helping them analyse their blood sugar levels.
by Alexa Kaczka