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Table 56Vision and hearing limitations among adults 18 years of age and over, by selected characteristics: United States, selected years 1997–2007

[Data are based on household interviews of a sample of the civilian noninstitutionalized population]

Click here for spreadsheet version

Any trouble seeing, even with glasses or contacts1A lot of trouble hearing or deaf2
Characteristic19972000200620071997200020062007
Percent of adults
18 years and over, age-adjusted3,410.09.09.59.93.23.23.42.3
18 years and over, crude49.88.99.610.03.13.13.42.3
Age
18–44 years6.25.35.46.91.00.90.80.4
 18–24 years5.44.25.06.9*0.5*0.7*0.6 *
 25–44 years6.55.75.66.81.21.00.80.5
45–64 years12.010.712.212.23.13.03.52.0
 45–54 years12.210.911.712.32.62.32.71.2
 55–64 years11.610.512.712.13.94.04.63.0
65 years and over18.117.417.415.39.810.511.48.7
 65–74 years14.213.613.612.96.67.47.14.7
 75 years and over23.121.921.717.914.114.316.413.3
Sex3
Male8.87.98.48.54.24.34.33.1
Female11.110.110.511.22.42.32.61.6
Sex and age
Male:
 18–44 years5.34.44.45.61.21.10.6*0.5
 45–54 years10.18.810.610.63.62.93.31.5
 55–64 years10.59.511.310.05.46.27.14.7
 65–74 years13.212.811.911.49.410.811.37.0
 75 years and over21.420.721.817.217.718.019.616.9
Female:
 18–44 years7.16.26.58.10.90.80.9*0.3
 45–54 years14.212.812.813.91.71.82.1*1.0
 55–64 years12.611.514.014.22.61.92.3*1.3
 65–74 years15.014.415.114.24.44.53.52.8
 75 years and over24.222.721.718.411.712.114.411.1
Race3,5
White only9.78.89.59.93.43.43.62.4
Black or African American only12.810.610.410.52.01.61.41.2
American Indian or Alaska Native only19.216.6*16.718.014.1 * *10.7*3.8
Asian only6.26.37.05.7 * *2.4*2.2 *
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander only- - - * * * - - - * * *
2 or more races- - -16.215.516.9- - -*5.7*5.1*4.9
Hispanic origin and race3,5
Hispanic or Latino10.09.79.99.91.52.32.02.5
 Mexican10.28.311.110.11.83.0*2.52.5
Not Hispanic or Latino10.09.19.510.03.33.33.52.3
 White only9.88.99.510.13.53.53.82.5
 Black or African American only12.810.610.310.62.01.61.31.2
Education6,7
25 years of age and over:
 No high school diploma or GED15.012.212.913.44.84.64.84.1
 High school diploma or GED10.69.510.610.93.73.93.92.8
 Some college or more8.98.99.29.22.92.83.61.9
Any trouble seeing, even with glasses or contacts1A lot of trouble hearing or deaf2
Characteristic19972000200620071997200020062007
Percent of poverty level3,8Percent of adults
Below 100%17.012.914.215.04.53.74.23.4
100%–less than 200%12.911.612.213.03.64.24.12.8
200% or more8.27.88.18.43.02.83.12.0
Hispanic origin and race and percent of poverty level3,5,8
Hispanic or Latino:
 Below 100%12.811.013.213.4*1.93.3*2.8 *
 100%–less than 200%11.29.49.811.1*1.5*2.3 * *2.1
 200% or more7.89.78.38.2*1.2*1.7 * *2.2
Not Hispanic or Latino:
 White only:
  Below 100%17.913.114.916.35.84.55.64.3
  100%–less than 200%13.112.013.414.24.35.05.13.3
  200% or more8.27.88.38.83.23.03.42.1
 Black or African American only:
  Below 100%17.913.614.115.13.3*1.6*1.7 *
  100%–less than 200%16.012.910.914.0*2.0*2.0*1.8 *
  200% or more8.58.18.37.2 * * *1.0 *
Geographic region3
Northeast8.67.47.38.12.22.43.01.7
Midwest9.59.610.410.33.53.53.42.3
South11.49.210.210.13.53.33.62.5
West9.79.99.210.53.43.53.42.4
Location of residence3
Within MSA99.58.59.29.62.93.03.22.1
Outside MSA912.011.110.811.44.53.94.33.3
*

Estimates are considered unreliable. Data preceded by an asterisk have a relative standard error (RSE) of 20%–30%. Data not shown have an RSE greater than 30%.

- - - Data not available.

1

Respondents were asked, “Do you have any trouble seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses?” Respondents were also asked, “Are you blind or unable to see at all?” In this analysis, any trouble seeing and blind are combined into one category. In 2007, 0.5% of adults 18 years of age and over identified themselves as blind.

2

Prior to 2007 data, respondents were asked, “Which statement best describes your hearing without a hearing aid: good, a little trouble, a lot of trouble, or deaf?” In this analysis, a lot of trouble and deaf are combined into one category. Starting with 2007 data, the question was revised to expand the response categories. Respondents were asked, “Which statement best describes your hearing without a hearing aid: excellent, good, a little trouble, moderate trouble, a lot of trouble, or deaf?” For 2007 data, a lot of trouble and deaf are combined into one category. The decline from 2006 to 2007 in the estimate of those with hearing trouble is likely due to the addition of the “moderate trouble” response category. Data prior to 2007 are not comparable with 2007 data due to the revised question. For more information on the impact of this revised question, see Appendix II, Hearing trouble. In 2006, 0.3% of adults 18 years of age and over identified themselves as deaf; in 2007, this estimate was 0.2%.

3

Estimates are age-adjusted to the year 2000 standard population using five age groups: 18–44 years, 45–54 years, 55–64 years, 65–74 years, and 75 years and over. Age-adjusted estimates in this table may differ from other age-adjusted estimates based on the same data and presented elsewhere if different age groups are used in the adjustment procedure. See Appendix II, Age adjustment.

4

Includes all other races not shown separately and unknown education level.

5

The race groups, white, black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 2 or more races, include persons of Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Starting with 1999 data, race-specific estimates are tabulated according to the 1997 Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity and are not strictly comparable with estimates for earlier years. The five single-race categories plus multiple-race categories shown in the table conform to the 1997 Standards. Starting with 1999 data, race-specific estimates are for persons who reported only one racial group; the category 2 or more races includes persons who reported more than one racial group. Prior to 1999, data were tabulated according to the 1977 Standards with four racial groups and the Asian only category included Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Estimates for single-race categories prior to 1999 included persons who reported one race or, if they reported more than one race, identified one race as best representing their race. Starting with 2003 data, race responses of other race and unspecified multiple race were treated as missing, and then race was imputed if these were the only race responses. Almost all persons with a race response of other race were of Hispanic origin. See Appendix II, Hispanic origin; Race.

6

Estimates are for persons 25 years of age and over and are age-adjusted to the year 2000 standard population using five age groups: 25–44 years, 45–54 years, 55–64 years, 65–74 years, and 75 years and over. See Appendix II, Age adjustment.

7

GED stands for General Educational Development high school equivalency diploma. See Appendix II, Education.

8

Percent of poverty level is based on family income and family size and composition using U.S. Census Bureau poverty thresholds. Missing family income data were imputed for 26%–30% of persons 18 years of age and over in 1997–1998 and 32%–35% in 1999–2007. See Appendix II, Family Income; Poverty.

9

MSA is metropolitan statistical area. Starting with 2006 data, MSA status is determined using 2000 census data and the 2000 standards for defining MSAs. For data prior to 2006, see Appendix II, Metropolitan statistical area (MSA) for the applicable standards.

NOTES: Standard errors are available in the spreadsheet version of this table. Available from: http://www​.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm. Data for additional years are available. See Appendix III.

SOURCES: CDC/NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, sample adult questionnaire.

Estimates are considered unreliable. Data preceded by an asterisk have a relative standard error (RSE) of 20%–30%. Data not shown have an RSE greater than 30%.

Respondents were asked, “Do you have any trouble seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses?” Respondents were also asked, “Are you blind or unable to see at all?” In this analysis, any trouble seeing and blind are combined into one category. In 2007, 0.5% of adults 18 years of age and over identified themselves as blind.

Prior to 2007 data, respondents were asked, “Which statement best describes your hearing without a hearing aid: good, a little trouble, a lot of trouble, or deaf?” In this analysis, a lot of trouble and deaf are combined into one category. Starting with 2007 data, the question was revised to expand the response categories. Respondents were asked, “Which statement best describes your hearing without a hearing aid: excellent, good, a little trouble, moderate trouble, a lot of trouble, or deaf?” For 2007 data, a lot of trouble and deaf are combined into one category. The decline from 2006 to 2007 in the estimate of those with hearing trouble is likely due to the addition of the “moderate trouble” response category. Data prior to 2007 are not comparable with 2007 data due to the revised question. For more information on the impact of this revised question, see Appendix II, Hearing trouble. In 2006, 0.3% of adults 18 years of age and over identified themselves as deaf; in 2007, this estimate was 0.2%.

Estimates are age-adjusted to the year 2000 standard population using five age groups: 18–44 years, 45–54 years, 55–64 years, 65–74 years, and 75 years and over. Age-adjusted estimates in this table may differ from other age-adjusted estimates based on the same data and presented elsewhere if different age groups are used in the adjustment procedure. See Appendix II, Age adjustment.

Includes all other races not shown separately and unknown education level.

The race groups, white, black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 2 or more races, include persons of Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Starting with 1999 data, race-specific estimates are tabulated according to the 1997 Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity and are not strictly comparable with estimates for earlier years. The five single-race categories plus multiple-race categories shown in the table conform to the 1997 Standards. Starting with 1999 data, race-specific estimates are for persons who reported only one racial group; the category 2 or more races includes persons who reported more than one racial group. Prior to 1999, data were tabulated according to the 1977 Standards with four racial groups and the Asian only category included Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Estimates for single-race categories prior to 1999 included persons who reported one race or, if they reported more than one race, identified one race as best representing their race. Starting with 2003 data, race responses of other race and unspecified multiple race were treated as missing, and then race was imputed if these were the only race responses. Almost all persons with a race response of other race were of Hispanic origin. See Appendix II, Hispanic origin; Race.

Estimates are for persons 25 years of age and over and are age-adjusted to the year 2000 standard population using five age groups: 25–44 years, 45–54 years, 55–64 years, 65–74 years, and 75 years and over. See Appendix II, Age adjustment.

GED stands for General Educational Development high school equivalency diploma. See Appendix II, Education.

Percent of poverty level is based on family income and family size and composition using U.S. Census Bureau poverty thresholds. Missing family income data were imputed for 26%–30% of persons 18 years of age and over in 1997–1998 and 32%–35% in 1999–2007. See Appendix II, Family Income; Poverty.

MSA is metropolitan statistical area. Starting with 2006 data, MSA status is determined using 2000 census data and the 2000 standards for defining MSAs. For data prior to 2006, see Appendix II, Metropolitan statistical area (MSA) for the applicable standards.

From: Trend Tables

Cover of Health, United States, 2009
Health, United States, 2009: With Special Feature on Medical Technology.
National Center for Health Statistics (US) .
Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2010 Jan.

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