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J. A. Uribe, B. K. Swenor, B. E. Munoz, S. K. West; Prevalence of Refractive Errors in a Mexican-American Population: Proyecto VER. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):5209.
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To determine the prevalence of refractive error (RE) and factors associated with uncorrected RE in Mexican-American adults.
Proyecto VER is a population-based study of blindness and visual impairment in Mexican-Americans aged ≥40 years from Tucson and Nogales, Arizona. Participants had a complete ophthalmic evaluation, including testing of presenting (PVA), best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), and a questionnaire concerning access to healthcare and acculturation. Of 4,769 eligible subjects with complete examinations, 255 (5.3%) were excluded because they were blind or had previous cataract surgery in both eyes. A total of 4,514 subjects with complete information in at least one eye were included. Subjects wearing prescription glasses for distance vision whose PVA was 20/25 or better, or subjects with PVA worse than 20/25 in at least one eye who improved ≥2 lines after subjective refraction were considered to have RE. Those achieving ≥ 2 line improvement in at least one eye were considered to have uncorrected RE. Alternative definitions were also examined. Contingency tables were used to examine associations between uncorrected RE and potential risk factors. Logistic regression models were used in the multivariate analysis.
The overall prevalence of RE in at least one eye was 67.5% (95% CI: 65.8-69.1%). One-third of participants with RE improved their PVA by ≥ 2 lines after subjective refraction. As compared to corrected RE, those with uncorrected RE were less likely to have any type of health insurance (OR=0.7; 95% CI: 0.6-0.9) and have lower levels of acculturation (OR=0.8; 95% CI: 0.7-0.8 per unit increase in the score) but were more likely to have a family income of < $20,000/year (OR=1.5; 95% CI: 1.2-1.8).
In our sample of Mexican-Americans the overall prevalence of uncorrected RE is high. One third of those with RE will benefit from a new pair of glasses. Indices of marginalization are associated with uncorrected RE, and could be targeted for future intervention.
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