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Thasarat S. Vajaranant, Shuang Wu, Mina Torres, Rohit Varma; Demographic And Geographic Changes In The Burden Of Visual Impairment And Blindness In The United States: 2010-2050. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):4220.
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To characterize the changes in the demographic and geographic distribution of Blindness and Visual Impairment in the United States from 2010-2050
Visual impairment and blindness is defined as best-corrected visual acuity less than or equal to 20/40 and 20/200 in the better-seeing eye, respectively. Age- and race/ethnicity- specific prevalence rates from the Eye Disease Prevalence Research Group were applied to the US population current estimates and projections from 2010-2050. These data were then stratified by state to assess current and future demographic and geographic variations in the per capita burden of blindness and visual impairment.
In 2010, 1.08 million persons are estimated to be blind and 2.75 million are estimated to be visually impaired. In 2010 the single largest demographic group contributing to the burden of blindness and visual impairment are non-Hispanic White (NHW) women aged 80 years Geographically, the current highest per-capita burden for both blindness and visual impairment is in Hawaii and Florida. It is estimated that in 2050, in the U.S., 2.59 million persons will be blind and 7.06 million will be visually impaired. Demographically, while NHW women will remain the largest racial/ethnic group contributing to the burden of visual impairment and blindness, minority groups will contribute a significantly larger proportion of the burden in 2050 compared to 2010 (increase approximately 20% in 2010 to 40% in 2050). Geographically, the highest per-capita caseload for blindness and visual impairment will continue to be Hawaii.
While the prevalence of blindness and visual impairment are high in minority groups compared to NHWs, given the age-related increase and the higher life expectancy of NHWs, the highest per capita burden for blindness and visual impairment is contributed by NHWs. However, by 2050, it is estimated that minority group will contribute the largest increase in the burden of blindness and visual impairment. Thus, the greatest yield from screening programs is likely to be in those states with significant numbers of older NHW women.
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