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Asel Ryskulova, Rebecca Hines; Use of eye care services among US adults. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):5552.
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To provide national self-reported data on use of eye care services and evaluate demographic and socio-economic disparities by analyzing the data from National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).
Regular use of eye care services can help to diagnose eye diseases on their early treatable stages and prevent vision loss. The data from the 2012 NHIS, and 2002 and 2008 Vision Health supplement of NHIS, a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population were used. We included bivariate and multivariate analyses to determine dilated eye examination use, visit to eye care professional, and inability to buy eyeglasses in the past 12 months by selected socio-demographic covariates, health insurance, and diabetes status.
In 2008 55.0% of U.S. adults had dilated eye examination in the past 2 years. In 2012 37.1% of persons visited eye doctor or eye health professional in the past 12 months, and 7.7% of adults needed but could not afford to buy eyeglasses in the past 12 months. Women were more likely than men to receive eye exam, visit eye doctor, and could not afford to buy eye glasses. Hispanics, persons with less than high school education, and adults without health insurance were less likely to use eye care services. American Indians and Alaska Natives and black persons reported inability to buy eyeglasses more frequently compared with other race/ethnic groups. Age was a significant predictor of eye care services utilization: the rate of eye examination and visits to eye care providers for adults 65 year and older was almost twice of the rate for persons 18-24 years. Persons with diabetes were two times more likely to have dilated eye examination and report inability to buy eyeglasses than persons without diabetes history.
The number of visits to eye doctors and inability to buy eyeglasses increased since 2002; however, there were no significant changes in use of dilated eye exam between 2002 and 2008. The national data demonstrate that use of eye care services varies by socio-demographic factors and diabetes status. Collaborative efforts of eye care providers and public health professionals are needed to increase use of regular eye services.
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