News Release

Estimating adults at high risk for vision loss, evaluating care use

Peer-Reviewed Publication

JAMA Network

Bottom Line: The estimated number of U.S. adults at high risk for vision loss increased from 2002 to 2017 in this observational study based on national survey data. Adults at high risk for vision loss included those who were 65 or older, had a self-reported diagnosis of diabetes, or had eye or vision problems. Researchers estimated there were more than 93 million adults in 2017 at high risk for vision loss compared with almost 65 million in 2002, an increase attributed in part to an aging population. About 57% of adults reported visiting an eye care professional annually; almost 60% reported having a dilated eye exam; and 9 out of 100 adults who needed eyeglasses said they couldn't afford them. This analysis included survey responses from nearly 31,000 adults in 2002 and 33,000 in 2017. Limitations of the study include those inherent with the use of self-reported data. Public health efforts to improve awareness of the importance of eye care could reduce unnecessary vision loss.

Authors: Sharon H. Saydah, Ph.D., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland, and coauthors.

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Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Sharon H. Saydah, Ph.D., email The full study is linked to this news release.

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