Study finds link between eating disorders and eye disease in people with diabetes

Research by Anglia Ruskin University has found an association between eating disorders and the chance of developing diabetic retinopathy

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A new study published in Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders has highlighted that people with diabetes who develop eating disorders are at an increased risk of eye disease.

Scientists from Anglia Ruskin University looked at data from 1100 participants across several studies.

This research revealed that those with an eating disorder were 2.94 times more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy than those without pathological eating behaviours.

Study author, Mike Trott, highlighted that there are several known risk factors that can speed up or slow down the progression of retinopathy in people living with diabetes.

Physical activity is associated with a lower risk, while high blood pressure can elevate the risk of developing eye disease among diabetics.

Trott explained that the most likely reason for the connection between eating disorders and eye disease in people with diabetes was poor control of blood sugar levels due to inconsistent food intake.

“Practitioners working with people with diabetes should closely monitor eating behaviours so that any abnormal eating behaviour can be addressed swiftly to reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy and consequent blindness if not treated,” he emphasised.