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Arch Ophthalmol. 2008 Oct;126(10):1421-7. doi: 10.1001/archopht.126.10.1421.

Diabetes mellitus and visual impairment: national health and nutrition examination survey, 1999-2004.

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  • 1Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3727, , USA.



To examine the prevalence and correlates of visual impairment (VI) among US adults with and without diabetes mellitus.


Using National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted during 1999-2004, we estimated the prevalence of presenting (correctable or uncorrectable), correctable, and uncorrectable VI among Americans 20 years or older with and without diabetes. Data were weighted to make estimates representative of the US civilian noninstitutionalized population. We used multivariate logistic regression to calculate odds ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals.


Approximately 11.0% of US adults with diabetes had some form of VI (3.8% uncorrectable and 7.2% correctable). Among those without diabetes, 5.9% had some form of VI (1.4% uncorrectable and 4.5% correctable). People with diabetes were more likely to have uncorrectable VI than those without diabetes, even after controlling for selected other factors (P < .05). Our findings also suggest a strong association between VI (correctable and uncorrectable) and older age, member of racial/ethnic minorities, lower income, and lack of health insurance, all independent of diabetes status (P < .05).


Vision loss is more common in people with diabetes than in people without diabetes. Diverse public health strategies are needed to reduce the burden of both correctable and uncorrectable VI.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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