New study identifies more people with vision loss and blindness than previously estimated

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Prevent Blindness supports the publication today of a major new study “Prevalence of visual acuity loss or blindness in the United States”, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NORC at the University of Chicago and the ‘Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. He finds that more than 7 million people live with incorrigible vision loss, including more than a million Americans who live with blindness.

CHICAGO (PRWEB) May 13, 2021

In a study published today in JAMA Ophthalmology, “Prevalence of visual acuity loss or blindness in the United States“The researchers estimate permanent vision loss and blindness in Americans of all ages, including people under the age of 40 and adults in collective neighborhoods, such as nursing homes or prisons. discovered that more than 7 million people live with incorrigible vision loss, including more than one million Americans who live 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 before,” said David B. Rein, Ph.D., Area Director Program for NORC at the University of Chicago Public Health Analysis Program and one of the study 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 more people with vision loss and blindness in the United States. than we had previously estimated. “

Additional study results include:

  • Among people living with vision loss and blindness in the United States, nearly one in four people are under the age of 40.

o More than 1.6 million Americans living with vision loss or blindness are under the age of 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 neighborhoods, such as retirement homes or prisons.

o Among them, 130,000 are living with blindness, which represents almost 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 experience permanent vision loss or blindness.

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

“Prevalence of visual acuity loss or blindness in the United States,” was written by researchers at the Institute for Health Measurement and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington (Seattle), NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vision Health Initiative, with the support of Prevent blindness.

Vision loss and blindness are often preventable. Vision loss is strongly influenced by access to eye care, general health care, geography, ethnicity, exposure to the sun and to underlying health problems, like diabetes, ”said Elizabeth Lundeen, co-author of the study. , PhD, MPH, epidemiologist, CDC. “These updated estimates help us better understand the problem, allow for strategic allocation of resources, development and implementation of policies and programs aimed at reducing the burden of vision loss and blindness in the United States. United.”

Study estimates were developed using data from CDC Vision and Eye Health Monitoring System (VEHSS). VEHSS hosts a variety of data sources for vision – including health and private insurance claims data, electronic health record data, and self-reported and clinical assessment data from national surveys. representative. 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 more robust 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 nationally, and in young children and children. older. ”said Abraham D. Flaxman, Ph.D., associate professor of health metrics sciences (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine and co-author of the study on prevalence of visual acuity loss and blindness in the United States.

Prevent Blindness, the country’s oldest nonprofit eye health and safety organization and a lead actor in the study, serves as an engagement and communication channel for VEHSS, working directly with NORC, CDC and other partners.

“Comprehensive, science-based data provides us with the information we need to help address the scale of vision problems at state and national levels, and advance equitable approaches to health policy.” public for vision and eye health, ”said Jeff Todd, president and 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 Loss or Blindness in the United States” 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 prevention of 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 screening and training, community and patient services and research. These services are made possible by the generous support of the American public. Together with an affiliate network, Prevent Blindness is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, visit us on 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 non-partisan research organization and a pioneer in measuring and understanding the world, we have studied almost every aspect of human experience and every major event for over eight decades. Today, we partner with governments, businesses and nonprofit clients around the world to provide the objectivity and expertise necessary to inform critical decisions facing society.

http://www.norc.org

About the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)

The IHME is an independent global health research body of the University of Washington School of Medicine that provides rigorous and comparable measures of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to solve them. The IHME is committed to transparency and makes this information widely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about allocating resources to improve the health of the population. 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 combat risk factors like 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 public health surveillance at state and national levels, supports applied public health research, and promotes the dissemination of evidence-based vision health interventions. In collaboration with state and community partners, VHI strives 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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