Disparity in prevalence of self-reported visual impairment in older adults among U.S. race-ethnic subgroups

Byron L. Lam, David J. Lee, D. Diane Zheng, Evelyn P. Davila, Sharon L. Christ, Kristopher L. Arheart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Prevalence of visual impairment (VI) in the United States (U.S.) has not been carefully examined by race-ethnic subgroups. This study examines self-reported VI prevalence in race-ethnic subgroups using data representative of the U.S. population age 45 years. Methods: The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is a population-based multipurpose and multistage area probability annual survey of the U.S. civilian non-institutionalized population conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. Data from a total of 122,649 participants age 45 years from the pooled 1999-2006 National Health Interview Surveys were used. VI prevalence was based on two questions asked to participants, Do you have any trouble seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses? (some VI), and Are you blind or unable to see at all? (severe VI). Results: For middle-aged adults age 45-64 years, race/ethnic groups with high age-adjusted rates of any self-reported VI (some or severe VI) include Native Americans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and those reporting mixed race/ethnicity. Among older adults age 65 years, understudied race/ethnic groups with high age-adjusted rates of any self-reported VI include Native Americans, Chinese Americans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Central/South Americans. Among older adults with severe VI, the results suggest high VI prevalence in Filipinos, Chinese Americans, Dominicans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans and those reporting mixed race/ethnicity. Conclusions: Among understudied U.S. race-ethnic groups, older Native Americans, Chinese Americans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Central/South Americans generally have high rates of self-reported VI suggesting further targeted epidemiologic and intervention studies may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blacks
  • Chinese Americans
  • Dominicans
  • Hispanics
  • Native Americans
  • Puerto Ricans
  • Visual impairment
  • Whites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Epidemiology

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