More than 25% of US adults who are 71 years and old have visual impairment.

More compared to 25% of adults in the US that are 71 years and older possess visual disability. The differences in visual function were based on socioeconomic plus demographic factors, 1 according to first author Olivia Killeen, MD, MS, from the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University associated with Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Killeen and her colleagues conducted a survey-based study to determine the current updated national prevalence estimates of vision impairment and blindness among older Americans based on objective visible function testing.

The study was a secondary data analysis of the 2021 National Health and Aging Trends Research (NHATS), a population-based, nationally representative panel study associated with Medicare beneficiaries 65 many years and old, the authors explains.

The participants were community-dwelling older adults or proxies who completed in-person interviews. Annual follow-up interviews were carried out regardless of residential status. Round 11 NHATS data were collected from June to November 2021, and data had been analyzed inside August 2022.

The interventions were tablet-based tests associated with the distance and near visual acuity (VA) plus contrast sensitivity with the participants’ habitual correction.

The particular study included 3817 respondents. Ultimately, 3026 respondents were included that had both completed the particular sample person interview and had no data missing; 29. 5% of these respondents had been aged 71 to 74 years old and 55% were women.

The main outcomes were the national frequency of impaired presenting distance VA (> 0. 30 logMAR, Snellen equivalent worse than 20/40), presenting close to VA (> 0. thirty logMAR, Snellen equivalent even worse than 20/40), and contrast sensitivity (> 1 standard deviation below the sample mean).

Visual disability findings

“The prevalence of visual impairment within US adults 71 yrs and older was 27. 8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 25. 5%-30. 1%). Distance and near VA and contrast level of sensitivity impairments were prevalent in 10. 3% (95% CI, 8. 9%-11. 7%), 22. 3% (95% CI, 20. 3%-24. 3%), and 10. 0% (95% CI, 8. 5%-11. 4%), respectively, ” the investigators reported.

Factors that were associated with all type of visual impairment included old age, lower education level, and lower income had been associated with all types of visible impairment. Higher prevalence rates of close to VA plus contrast awareness impairments were associated with non-White race and Hispanic ethnicity.

“More than 1 in 4 ALL OF US adults aged 71 years and older were visually impaired within 2021, which was higher than prior estimates, ” the study concluded. “Differences in the particular prevalence associated with visual disability by socioeconomic and demographic factors had been observed. These data could inform public health planning. ”


1 . Killeen OJ, De Lott LB, Zhou Y, et al. Population frequency of vision impairment in US grown ups 71 many years and older. The National Health and Aging Trends Study. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online January 12, 2023. doi: 10. 1001/jamaophthalmol. 2022. 5840

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