According to the 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report, over 29 million Americans have diabetes. Of these 29 million, approximately 25% have some form of diabetic retinopathy, a disease caused by the deterioration of blood vessels that nourish the retina.
The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the drug Lucentis (ranibizumab) for treatment of diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetic macular edema.
Research has shown that Latinos are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic Whites. Lifestyle and diet have been blamed for these higher rates, but researches from the University of Illinois at Chicago wanted to see if genetic ancestry also contributed to the development of diabetic retinopathy.