Patient Management 2.0
Diabetes prevalence is set to grow by 48 percent over the next 25 years – where does that leave ophthalmologists?
Phoebe Harkin | | Quick Read
There is a reason this magazine is called The Ophthalmologist, not – say – The Diabetologist. At the risk of stating the obvious, we’re all about eyes. And though our chosen field of expertise certainly intersects with other specialties (including diabetology), ophthalmology is, was, and always will be our main focus.
But we cannot ignore the fact that diabetes prevalence is on the rise. By 2025, more than 25 million people are predicted to have diabetes in the UK. What inevitably follows is an increase in the prevalence of diabetic eye disease – from diabetic retinopathy to diabetic macular edema – along with an increase in cataract and glaucoma cases. Ophthalmologists are already playing a pivotal role in the fight against diabetes-induced blindness. But as the line between professions starts to blur, ophthalmologists are faced with a question: what else can we do to offer a better standard of care to diabetic eye disease patients?
This month, we put that question, amongst others, to four ophthalmologists. You can find their answers in our feature. Of course, a topic this nuanced could not possibly be concluded in just eight pages, so we will be carrying on the conversation at a live panel discussion, which will take place on World Diabetes Day (November 14) – see top.txp.to/new-vfd to register. The discussion, chaired by John Marshall, will feature ophthalmologists, Winfried Amoaku and Dawn Sim, and diabetologists, Partha Kar and Shazli Azmi; together they will thrash out the issues facing healthcare providers worldwide. We hope their conversation will stimulate an open, honest discourse between ophthalmologists and diabetologists, and lay the foundation for a more holistic approach to patient and disease management.
In April, Anat Loewenstein discussed “Joining Forces for Diabetes.” She wrote, “Diabetic retinopathy is a strong predictor for the development of comorbid conditions associated with diabetes – therefore, timely referral and discussion between healthcare professionals involved in the management of diabetes and its complications are essential to improve patient care.” In short, it’s better to work together.
So it may come as no surprise that you will likely see increased coverage of diabetes in The Ophthalmologist; we will be publishing pieces from our panelists and other prominent diabetologists and ophthalmologists over the next few months – and we welcome your contributions, too.