Highlights From MMWR: Importance of Vision Screening in Diabetics and More

Yael Waknine

November 03, 2006

November 3, 2006 — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported in the November 3 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on the high rate of diabetic patients with correctable visual impairment that highlights the need for routine eye examinations in this population; improved supplies of a meningococcal vaccine that allow for routine vaccination for children aged 11 to 12 years; and the increased rate of pelvic inflammatory disease in women who have been sexually active from an early age or had multiple male sex partners.


Vision Screening and Correction May Restore Visual Acuity for Many Diabetic Patients

Nearly two-thirds of adults with diabetes who have visual impairment can correct their deficit with an accurate prescription for glasses or contact lenses, according to an analysis of 1999-2004 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The findings underscore the importance of screening for and treating corrective visual impairment (CVI) in patients with diabetes to reduce the risk for injury and improve quality of life in this population.

Study results showed that the prevalence of visual impairment and CVI among diabetic adults was 11.0% and 7.2%, respectively, indicating that the proper prescription for glasses or contacts would restore visual acuity in 65.5% of cases. Optical correction was more likely to restore visual acuity in patients with mild vs severe impairment (73.4% vs 9.1%).

Although the crude prevalence of CVI was similar among diabetic adults aged 65 years or older and those aged 20 to 64 years (7.3% vs 7.2%), younger patients were more likely to have a correctable deficit compared with the elderly (89.2% vs 46.4%).

The CDC notes that although simple eye examinations and prescription glasses/contacts can correct most cases of visual impairment caused by refractive errors, diabetic patients are also at risk for ocular complications such as retinopathy and should undergo yearly dilated eye examinations or fundus photography to ensure their early detection and treatment.


Improved MCV4 Supply Allows Routine Vaccination of Children Aged 11 to 12 Years

The CDC has advised healthcare professionals to resume routine vaccination of children aged 11 to 12 years with tetravalent meningococcal polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccine (MCV4; Menactra, made by Sanofi Pasteur, Inc).

Deferral of vaccination in this population was previously recommended in May 2006 due to limitations in MCV4 supply that have since been resolved.

Routine vaccination is advised for children aged 11 to 12 years; previously unvaccinated high school students; college freshmen living in dormitories; and other individuals at increased risk for meningococcal disease. The CDC advises healthcare providers who deferred vaccination of children aged 11 to 12 years to recall those patients for vaccination.

Additional information concerning vaccine orders may be obtained by contacting the manufacturer at 1-800-VACCINE (1-800-822-2463) or visiting online at http://www.vaccineshoppe.com.


PID Prevalence Higher in Sexually Active Teens and Women with Multiple Sex Partners

An analysis of data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth has revealed an increased rate of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) treatment in women who have been sexually active from an early age or had multiple male sex partners.

The study found that the rate of PID was more than twice as high for women younger than 15 years at the time of first intercourse compared with those aged 20 to 44 years. Also, the rate of PID increased with the number of male sex partners in the preceding 12 months, increasing from less than 4% in those with 1 partner to about 11% in those who have had sexual relations with 10 or more partners.

MMWR. 2006;55:1169-1191.

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