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Los Angeles Latinos have more eye problems

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LOS ANGELES, Aug 09, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Latinos in Los Angeles have higher rates of vision problems and blindness, U.S. researchers reported.

The study also found Latinos who are older, unemployed, divorced, widowed or diabetic are more likely to be visually impaired.

Researchers at the University of Southern California studied more than 6,000 primarily Mexican-American Latinos, ages 40 or older, in La Puente, Calif., part of Los Angeles County.

They found the prevalence of open-angle glaucoma, which causes blindness, among Latinos was comparable to that of African-Americans, and more than 75 percent of Latinos with the condition did not know they had it.

Almost one of every two Latinos with diabetes has diabetic retinopathy, a related eye condition, the researchers said. One in five Latinos has cataracts, which result in vision cloudiness, and 50 percent of those with more than one type of cataract are visually impaired, the study found.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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