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Many Americans at high risk of vision loss do not have access to eye care

s vision loss visited an eye doctor and one-third had a dilated eye examination in the past 12 months.

"Among the high-risk population, the probability of having a dilated eye examination increased with age, education and income," the authors write. "The probability of receiving an examination was higher for the insured, women, persons with diabetes and those with vision or eye problems. Approximately 5 million high-risk adults could not afford eyeglasses when needed; being female, having low income, not having insurance and having vision or eye problems were each associated with such inability."

As the population ages, providing access to preventive eye care services will become a larger public health concern, the authors note. "Many conditions causing visual impairment and blindness are often asymptomatic in their early, treatable stages," they conclude. "There is substantial inequity in access to eye care in the United States. Better targeting of resources and efforts toward people at high risk may help reduce these disparities."

(Arch Ophthalmol. 2007;125:411-418. Available pre-embargo to the media at www.jamamedia.org.)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.


Also in the March issue of Archives of Ophthalmology:

Women who develop age-related macular degeneration may have higher blood levels of markers related to inflammation before they begin showing symptoms of the disease. Debra A. Schaumberg, Sc.D., O.D., Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues, measured three markers of inflammation-high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and fibrinogen-in the blood of 27,687 women (average age 54.6) without age-related macular degeneration
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Contact: Rachel Ciccarone
770-488-5131
JAMA and Archives Journals
12-Mar-2007


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