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Research highlights for March 2022

Published: 1 April 2022 at 14:45

Find out about research published by members of ARU's Vision and Eye Research Institute (VERI) in March 2022.

The GBD 2019 Diabetes Mortality Collaborators (1) aimed to evaluate diabetes mortality and trends in people younger than 25 years old, using data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019.

They found that in 2019, there were 16,300 global deaths due to diabetes (type 1 and type 2) in people under 25, 73.7% of which were classified as due to type 1 diabetes. Age-standardised death rates decreased globally from 1990 to 2019 by 17% (21% for type 1 only).

However, the decline was lowest in countries with a low socio-demographic index (SDI). While progress has been made globally in decreasing diabetes mortality, there is still important variability across countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented move to emergency remote learning across the globe, leading to increased screen time for children and adolescents. Pardhan et al. (2) reviewed the current evidence for increased digital screen time, the risks linked to screen time, and offered possible steps to mitigate the detrimental health effects including eye strain, myopia, obesity and related disorders.

López-Sánchez et al. (3) aimed to explore gender differences in the association between cataracts and self-reported depression and chronic anxiety in Spanish adults with diabetes.

Using data from the Spanish Health Survey 2017, the authors found that women suffering from diabetes and cataracts showed significantly higher odds for depression and for chronic anxiety compared to women with diabetes but no cataracts.

This association was not seen in the men in the sample, which the authors suggested could be due to biological and genetic differences between men and women.

The GBD 2019 Europe NCDs in Adolescents Collaborators (4) analysed the disability and mortality burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among adolescents in the EU.

The authors found that in 2019, NCDs accounted for 86.4% of years lived with disability (YLDs) and 38.8% of total deaths in adolescents aged 10-24 years, with neoplasms the leading cause of mortality and years of life lost.

Between 1990 and 2019 NCD-mortality substantially declined among adolescents in the EU. However, there has been a rising trend of years of life lost attributed to mental disorders, which is of concern.

Common challenges of governance for the prosthetics and orthotics (P&O) sector in Iran were identified in Shahabi et al. (5). Using semi-structured interviews, the authors identified the following main challenges: no legislation on P&O services, insufficient government support, uninformed policy-makers, and lack of interest by stakeholders.

The authors concluded that it is important and necessary to adopt effective and comprehensive policies to reduce current challenges and barriers and improve governance.


1. Cousin, E., Duncan, B. B., Stein, C., Ong, K. L., Vos, T., Abbafati, C. et al. (Pardhan, S.), 2022. Diabetes mortality and trends before 25 years of age: an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 10(3), pp. 177-192. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(21)00349-1

2. Pardhan, S., Parkin, J., Trott, M., Driscoll, R., 2022 Risks of digital screen time and recommendations for mitigating adverse outcomes in children. Journal of School Health. doi: 10.1111/josh.13170

3. López-Sánchez, G. F., Smith, L., López-Bueno, R., Pardhan, S., 2022. Gender Differences in the Association between Physical Inactivity and Mental-Health Conditions in People with Vision or Hearing Impairment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(6). doi: 10.3390/ijerph19063307

4. Armocida, B., Monasta, L., Sawyer, S., Bustreo, F., Segafredo, G., Castelpietra, G. et al. (Pardhan, S.), 2022. Burden of non-communicable diseases among adolescents aged 10–24 years in the EU, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis of the Global Burden of Diseases Study 2019. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. doi: 10.1016/S2352-4642(22)00073-6

5. Shahabi, S., Pardhan, S., Shabaninejad, H., Teymourlouy, A. A., Tabrizi, R., Lankarani, K. B., 2022. Toward good governance for the prosthetics and orthotics sector in Iran: Evidence from a qualitative study. Prosthetics and Orthotics International. doi: 10.1097/PXR.0000000000000102