Health Equity

Removing Barriers to Eye Care

Working alongside community partners to prevent vision loss.
African american woman wearing glasses outdoors smiling

Community Engagement & Impact

Through this health equity initiative, the ADA and Genentech are working alongside community partners to identify and remove barriers to eye care and drive change in local communities and health systems.

Despite advances in screening, diagnosis and treatment of diabetes-related eye conditions, many people–particularly those in underserved communities–still need help accessing care. Diabetes is the leading cause of vision loss in people 18–64 years old. African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latino, and older adults living with diabetes are at higher risk for losing their vision or going blind.1 Comprehensive eye exams play a crucial role in the prevention, early detection, and intervention of eye disease and vision loss caused by diabetes, yet many in these communities either don’t receive or don’t have appropriate access to eye health care. Learn More about the program’s three main pillars.

Know Your Risk

Change your future. One quick, simple test can help you understand if you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes or diabetes-related eye disease.

Know your Risk

Retinopathy Risk Test

Calculate your future risk of diabetic retinopathy and take better decisions today for your health.

Know your Risk

Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test

Change your future. One quick, simple test can help you understand if you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Stories from Pilot Program in Birmingham, Alabama

Our organizations are committed to making health care equitable for all. The program is beginning with a pilot focused on supporting the African-American community in Birmingham, Alabama.

ADA Eye Health Equity Summit
1 month ago
Eye Pledge
3 months ago
Why Birmingham
3 months ago
See More

Did You Know?

A variety of factors can cause disparities in diabetes-related eye disease, impacting patients from underserved communities.

Higher risk of losing vision

African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latino, and older adults living with diabetes are at higher risk for losing their vision or going blind. By the time many of these people are seen by a retina specialist, their condition has progressed to a more advanced stage.2

2.3 times higher visual complications

Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by diabetes-related retinopathy (DR) and DME, and 2.3 times more likely to develop significant visual complications from diabetes.3 

Receive less eye care examinations

African Americans are less likely than non-Hispanic/Latino whites to receive any eye care examinations.4

Advanced stages of DR

African American and Hispanic/Latino people with DR are more likely to present at advanced stages of DR with a poorer prognosis.3 

Lack of understanding of DR

The lack of screening examinations for African American and Hispanic/Latino people includes a lack of understanding of DR and the importance and accessibility to treatment; including patient, physician, and institutional barriers.3 

Genentech a member of the roche group
Genentech–Health Equity Now Partner
Banting Circle Elite Support

References

  1.  https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/diabetic-eye-disease
  2. Barsegian A, Kotlyar B, Lee J, Salifu MO, McFarlane SI. Diabetic Retinopathy: Focus on Minority Populations. Int J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2017
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0027968421002364
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022). Diabetes Data and Statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/index.html. Accessed April 16, 2023