Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Refractive Errors Affect Vision For Half Of American Adults

Date:
August 12, 2008
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
About half of US adults age 20 and older have refractive errors, or eye problems that result in less than 20/20 vision, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

About half of U.S. adults age 20 and older have refractive errors, or eye problems that result in less than 20/20 vision, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Related Articles


Refractive error accounts for nearly 80 percent of vision impairment in U.S. residents 12 years and older, according to background information in the article. It occurs when the eye cannot properly focus light, resulting in nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, an irregular curve of the eye's cornea. Providing eye care to individuals age 12 and older who need glasses or contacts is estimated to cost between $3.8 and $7.2 billion per year.

Susan Vitale, Ph.D., M.H.S., and colleagues at the National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Md., analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), an ongoing nationally representative survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Demographic characteristics were collected during in-person interviews and a vision examination was conducted.

Among 12,010 participants age 20 and older who completed the survey between 1999 and 2004 and had complete data available, about half had some type of refractive error. This included 3.6 percent who were farsighted, 33.1 percent who were nearsighted and 36.2 percent who had astigmatism. The researchers also found that:

  • Nearsightedness was more common in women (39.9 percent) than in men (32.6 percent) among 20- to 39-year-olds
  • Individuals age 60 and older were less likely to have nearsightedness and more likely to have farsightedness and astigmatism than younger participants; in the older age group, men (66.8 percent) were more likely to have refractive error than women (59.2 percent)
  • Mexican-Americans were less likely to have any type of refractive error (44.4 percent) than were non-Hispanic whites (53.4 percent) or non-Hispanic blacks (49.3 percent)
  • The prevalence of any refractive error increased with age, from 46.3 percent among those age 20 through 39 to 50.6 percent among those age 40 through 59 and 62.7 percent among those age 60 and older

"Refractive error is, therefore, the most common condition affecting the ocular health of the U.S. population, involving young adults, middle-aged persons and older adults of all ethnicities," the authors conclude. "Accurate, current estimates of the prevalence of refractive error are essential for projecting vision care needs and planning for provision of vision care services to the many people affected."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Susan Vitale, PhD, MHS; Leon Ellwein, PhD; Mary Frances Cotch, PhD; Frederick L. Ferris III, MD; Robert Sperduto, MD. Prevalence of Refractive Error in the United States, 1999-2004. Archives of Ophthalmology, 2008; 126 (8): 1111 DOI: 10.1001/archopht.126.8.1111

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Refractive Errors Affect Vision For Half Of American Adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080811195643.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2008, August 12). Refractive Errors Affect Vision For Half Of American Adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080811195643.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Refractive Errors Affect Vision For Half Of American Adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080811195643.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins