0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Original Investigation | Journal Club

Visual Impairment and Blindness in Adults in the United States Demographic and Geographic Variations From 2015 to 2050

Rohit Varma, MD, MPH1,2; Thasarat S. Vajaranant, MD3; Bruce Burkemper, PhD, MPH1; Shuang Wu, MS1; Mina Torres, MS1; Chunyi Hsu, MPH1; Farzana Choudhury, MBBS, MPH, MS, PhD1; Roberta McKean-Cowdin, PhD2
[+] Author Affiliations
1USC Roski Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles
2Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles
3Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago Eye and Ear Infirmary, Chicago
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016;134(7):802-809. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.1284.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Importance  The number of individuals with visual impairment (VI) and blindness is increasing in the United States and around the globe as a result of shifting demographics and aging populations. Tracking the number and characteristics of individuals with VI and blindness is especially important given the negative effect of these conditions on physical and mental health.

Objectives  To determine the demographic and geographic variations in VI and blindness in adults in the US population in 2015 and to estimate the projected prevalence through 2050.

Design, Setting, and Participants  In this population-based, cross-sectional study, data were pooled from adults 40 years and older from 6 major population-based studies on VI and blindness in the United States. Prevalence of VI and blindness were reported by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and per capita prevalence by state using the US Census projections (January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2050).

Main Outcomes and Measures  Prevalence of VI and blindness.

Results  In 2015, a total of 1.02 million people were blind, and approximately 3.22 million people in the United States had VI (best-corrected visual acuity in the better-seeing eye), whereas up to 8.2 million people had VI due to uncorrected refractive error. By 2050, the numbers of these conditions are projected to double to approximately 2.01 million people with blindness, 6.95 million people with VI, and 16.4 million with VI due to uncorrected refractive error. The highest numbers of these conditions in 2015 were among non-Hispanic white individuals (2.28 million), women (1.84 million), and older adults (1.61 million), and these groups will remain the most affected through 2050. However, African American individuals experience the highest prevalence of visual impairment and blindness. By 2050, the highest prevalence of VI among minorities will shift from African American individuals (15.2% in 2015 to 16.3% in 2050) to Hispanic individuals (9.9% in 2015 to 20.3% in 2050). From 2015 to 2050, the states projected to have the highest per capita prevalence of VI are Florida (2.56% in 2015 to 3.98% in 2050) and Hawaii (2.35% in 2015 and 3.93% in 2050), and the states projected to have the highest projected per capita prevalence of blindness are Mississippi (0.83% in 2015 to 1.25% in 2050) and Louisiana (0.79% in 2015 to 1.20% in 2050).

Conclusions and Relevance  These data suggest that vision screening for refractive error and early eye disease may reduce or prevent a high proportion of individuals from experiencing unnecessary vision loss and blindness, decrease associated costs to the US economy for medical services and lost productivity, and contribute to better quality of life. Targeted education and screening programs for non-Hispanic white women and minorities should become increasingly important because of the projected growth of these populations and their relative contribution to the overall numbers of these conditions.

Figures in this Article

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Figures

Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 1.
Estimated Numbers of Persons With Visual Impairment in the United States by Race/Ethnicity (All Persons) and Year

AA indicates African American; NHW, non-Hispanic white.

Graphic Jump Location
Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 2.
Estimated Number of Persons With Blindness in the United States by Race/Ethnicity (All Persons) and Year

AA indicates African American; NHW, non-Hispanic white.

Graphic Jump Location
Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 3.
Per Capita Prevalence of Visual Impairment in the United States in 2015
Graphic Jump Location
Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 4.
Per Capita Prevalence of Visual Impairment in the United States in 2050
Graphic Jump Location

Tables

References

Correspondence

CME


You need to register in order to view this quiz.

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

3,884 Views
0 Citations
×

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

See Also...
Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles
Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();