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J Adolesc Health. 2012 Jun;50(6):645-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.10.012. Epub 2012 Feb 4.

Uncorrected distance visual impairment among adolescents in the United States.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27705, USA. alex.kemper@duke.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To describe uncorrected distance visual impairment (VI).

METHODS:

We conducted an analysis of the 3,555 adolescents aged 12 through 21 years who participated in the 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Distance VI was defined as 20/40 or worse in the better-seeing eye. Data were weighted to represent the civilian noninstitutionalized population.

RESULTS:

Overall, 12.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 10.7%-14.1%) had distance VI, which was correctable to 20/30 or better in both eyes in 86.1% (95% CI: 83.6%-89.5%). The prevalence was higher among those who reported not having corrective lenses available (44.3%) compared with those who reported that they did not need them (8.5%) or who had them available (5.2%; p < .001). After adjusting for potential confounders, those who were 12 or 13 years of age had 2.27 (95% CI: 1.32-3.90) greater odds of distance VI than older adolescents, and the odds of distance VI were greater among non-Hispanic blacks (1.66 [95% CI: 1.11-2.48]), Hispanics (1.96 [95% CI: 1.35-2.84]), or other race/ethnicities (2.06 [95% CI: 1.19-3.57]) than among non-Hispanic whites.

CONCLUSIONS:

More than 1 in 10 adolescents had uncorrected distance VI. To address this, interventions should address case detection, access to eye care, and adherence with corrective lenses.

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