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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2006 Dec 15;55(49):1321-5.

Visual impairment and eye care among older adults - five States, 2005.

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  • 1College of Optometry, Univ of Houston, Texas, USA.


Blindness and visual impairment are among the 10 most common causes of disability in the United States and are associated with shorter life expectancy and lower quality of life. Previously, state-specific prevalences of visual impairment and eye disease were estimated from national prevalences. However, in 2005, five states (Iowa, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas) provided state-specific estimates by using the new CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) vision module. CDC analyzed data from the module to determine the self-reported prevalence of visual impairment, eye disease, eye injury, and lack of eye-care insurance and eye examination among persons aged >or=50 years in each of these five states and among certain sociodemographic populations overall. This report describes the results of that analysis, which indicated variation in disease prevalence and use of eye care among individual states and also among racial/ethnic populations and age groups within the five states combined. The variability among state data suggests that statespecific surveillance of visual impairment and eye care and investigation by states to identify influencing factors might lead to creation of vision programs better suited to individual state needs.

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