HEALTH

New research investigates the aging of populations and its influence on markets

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON New research released by Datamonitor on Friday identified the aging of populations around the globe and how this trend will have crucial implications for the U.K. markets.

“The aging of populations globally is an issue that will increasingly shape both society and its consumer markets,’ stated Matthew Adams, consumer analyst at Datamonitor and co-author of the reports.

A large proportion of the population in each European country accounted for by consumers aged 50 and above. The U.K. was one of the youngest nations, relatively, in Europe in 2007, but the senior population still exceeded one third of the overall population. The greatest proportional growth in senior is expected to occur in the United States, with a 1.5% compound annual growth rate among seniors.

However, the relative proportion lags behind the norm in Europe by a short margin. In absolute numbers, the senior group of consumers comprises more than 90 million Europeans and should rise to over 100 million by 2012.

Overall, seniors are an ideal target demographic, the report concluded.

“With substantial assets and significant liquid capital, seniors are likely to ‘upgrade’ and choose premium products, particularly those ‘empty nesters’ who have less obligation to support the family and children,” stated Matthew Taylor, consumer market analyst at Datamonitor and also co-author. “The recent ‘less is more’ philosophy might reinforce the pursuit of high quality products. The aging of the baby boomers is also a factor in turning toward a less materialistic approach to the luxury lifestyle. With increased consumer awareness of ‘sustainability’, many products made with natural ingredients cultivated organically, or sourced from specific origins, are becoming popular among these sophisticated consumers.”

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HEALTH

Study suggests that diabetics are unaware of eye health risks

BY Michael Johnsen

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. Fewer than 40% of consumers with diabetes are fully aware about eye health risks, according to recent consumer research conducted by Transitions Optical.

The study revealed that less than 40% of the population surveyed correctly identified vision issues as possible complications of diabetes.

“Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions worldwide,” stated Susan Stenson, global medical director at Transitions Optical. “Aside from its direct effects in decreasing visual acuity and causing blindness, diabetes can also significantly impact quality of vision by reducing contrast sensitivity and accentuating glare,” she said. “While the major recognized direct ocular complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, diabetes also appears to increase susceptibility to a number of common vision-threatening diseases, such as cataract, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Furthermore, diabetics may be at a higher risk for the development of UVR-related ocular diseases.”

Additional findings from Transitions Optical and the World Health Organization include the fact that as many as 45% of diabetics do not receive regular eye exams and as many as 37% of diabetics do not wear protective eyewear.

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Television star opens up about Type 1 diabetes in new book

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Television starlet Mary Tyler Moore is opening up about her battle with diabetes in a new memoir.

“Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes” highlights Moore’s 40-year struggle with Type 1 diabetes.

Moore discusses her worsening eyesight, described as “tunnel vision, which makes the world look like a perpetual journey by car through the Swiss Alps.” Moore also mentions that she walks in Manhattan with an aide who warns her about curbs and ramps.

Almost 24 million people in the United States are estimated to have diabetes. The main symptoms include tiredness, thirst, irritability and vision problems.

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