New study identifies more people with vision loss and blindness than expected

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Researchers have found that more than 7 million people live with incorrectable vision loss, including more than one million Americans who live with blindness.

“Comprehensive, science-based data gives us the information we need to help address the scope of vision problems at the state and national level, and advance equitable approaches to health policy. vision and eye health,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO. CEO of Prevent Blindness.

In a study published today in JAMA Ophthalmology, “Prevalence of Visual Acuity Loss or Blindness in the United States,” researchers estimate permanent vision loss and blindness among Americans of all ages, including people under 40 and adults living in congregate settings, such as nursing homes or prisons. Researchers have found that more than 7 million people live with incorrectable vision loss, including more than one million Americans with blindness.

“What makes this study different from previous national estimates of vision loss and blindness is that the methods we used allowed for a broader analysis of populations in the United States than those previously included,” said said David B. Rein, Ph.D., NORC’s Regional Program Director at the University of Chicago’s Public Health Analytics Program and one of the study’s co-authors. “While the addition of these different age groups is partly responsible for the increase, the growth in the number of older Americans has also contributed to the increase in the number of people with vision loss and blindness in the United States compared to previous estimates.”

Other findings from the study include:

  • Of people living with vision loss and blindness in the United States, nearly 1 in 4 are under age 40.

o More than 1.6 million Americans living with sight loss or blindness are under age 40.

o Of these, 141,000 are blind, 13% of all people with blindness in the United States

  • 358,000 people with vision loss and blindness live in collective accommodation, such as nursing homes or prisons.

o Among them, 130,000 live with blindness, which represents nearly 12% of people living with blindness.

  • In the USA:

o 20% of all people aged 85 and over experience permanent vision loss.

o More women than men suffer permanent vision loss or blindness.

o The risk of vision loss is higher in Hispanics/Latinos and Blacks than in Whites.

“Prevalence of Visual Acuity Loss or Blindness in the United States,” was authored by researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington (Seattle), NORC of the University of Chicago (NORC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vision Health Initiative, with support from Prevent Blindness.

“Vision loss and blindness are often preventable. Vision loss is strongly influenced by access to eye care, general health care, geography, race/ethnicity, sun exposure, and underlying health conditions, such as diabetes said study co-author Elizabeth Lundeen, PhD, MPH, epidemiologist, CDC. “These updated estimates help us better understand the problem, enable strategic resource allocation, development and implementation of policies and programs to reduce the burden of vision loss and blindness in the States. -United.”

The study estimates were developed using data from the CDC’s Eye and Vision Health Surveillance System (VEHSS). VEHSS hosts various data sources for vision, including Medicare and private insurance claims data, electronic health record data, and self-reported and clinical assessment data from nationally representative surveys. The researchers used a statistical methodology called Bayesian meta-regression that used the system’s multiple data sources to produce new, more comprehensive national and state estimates of vision loss and blindness.

“Meta-Regression helps us control for bias in less precise data sources, such as self-reported vision loss, and use it to make more detailed predictions from stronger data sources, such as clinical assessments of vision loss and blindness This study primarily used data from more expensive clinical assessments to estimate the total amount of vision loss and blindness at the national level. incorporated self-reported vision loss data to estimate more detailed information about how vision loss and blindness were distributed across states, and among young children and older adults, said Abraham D. Flaxman , Ph.D., Associate Professor of Health Measurement Sciences (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine and co-author of the study on the prevalence of acuity loss visual impairment and blindness in the United States.

Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest non-profit eye health and safety organization and one of the study’s key stakeholders, serves as the engagement and communication channel for VEHSS, working directly with NORC , the CDC and other partners.

“Comprehensive, science-based data gives us the information we need to help address the scope of vision problems at the state and national level, and advance equitable approaches to health policy. vision and eye health,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO. CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We thank the dedicated people at CDC, NORC, IHME and all of our partners for their important work in saving sight.”

For more information on the “Prevalence of Visual Acuity Loss or Blindness in the US” study, or the VEHSS, visit https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/vehss/. Or visit Prevent Blindness at https://preventblindness.org/vision-loss-and-blindness-us.

About Preventing Blindness

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading voluntary eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, programs community and patient services and research. These services are made possible by the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, Prevent Blindness is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, visit us at preventblindness.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About NORC at the University of Chicago

NORC at the University of Chicago conducts research and analysis that decision makers trust. As a nonpartisan research organization and a pioneer in measuring and understanding the world, we have studied nearly every aspect of the human experience and every major news event for more than eight decades. Today, we work with governments, corporations, and nonprofit clients around the world to provide the objectivity and expertise needed to inform critical decisions facing society.

http://www.norc.org

About the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)

IHME is an independent global health research organization at the University of Washington School of Medicine that provides rigorous, comparable measures of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. IHME is committed to transparency and makes this information widely available so that decision makers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about allocating resources to improve population health. http://www.healthdata.org

About the Vision Health Initiative

The CDC’s Vision Health Initiative (VHI) aims to improve vision health in the United States through collaborations with state and national partners to strengthen science and develop interventions that promote eye health and prevent vision loss and vision loss. blindness in high-risk groups. VHI also seeks to address risk factors such as glaucoma, reduce disparities in vision loss and eye disease, and improve the health and quality of life of people with vision loss. VHI designs and implements state and national public health surveillance, supports applied public health research, and promotes the dissemination of evidence-based vision health interventions. Working with state and community partners, VHI works to integrate vision health activities into broader public health strategies and interventions. For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth.

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