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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2010 May 21;59(19):588-91.

Eye-care utilization among women aged > or =40 years with eye diseases--19 states, 2006-2008.


Diabetic retinopathy (DR), glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) are major causes of vision loss and blindness. Women have been found to have a higher prevalence of vision loss than men. Early detection and timely treatment by eye-care providers are necessary to delay disease progression and prevent vision loss. To assess the use of professional eye care among women aged > or = 40 years, CDC analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for 19 U.S. states for the period 2006-2008. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that 21% of women with self-reported DR, 12% of women with self-reported glaucoma, and 8% of women with self-reported ARMD did not visit an eye-care provider in the recommended follow-up period. Women who did not have insurance coverage for eye care or who did not receive routine medical check-ups were more likely to report not having the recommended follow-up eye care. The two most commonly cited reasons for not having an eye-care visit were cost or not having insurance (range across diseases: 40%-46%) and having no reason to go for follow-up (range: 20%-29%). Compliance with obtaining eye examinations at recommended intervals among women aged > or = 40 years with eye diseases might be enhanced by improving access to health care and implementing and expanding existing educational programs to raise awareness regarding the importance of routine follow-up eye examinations.

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