June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Food Insecurity, Vision Impairment and Disability in Adults
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Richard Chin Hom
    Graduate Biomedicne, Salus Univeristy, San Mateo, California, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Richard Hom, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 1344. doi:
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      Richard Chin Hom; Food Insecurity, Vision Impairment and Disability in Adults. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):1344.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose :
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the association of vision impairment (VI) and food insecurity (FI) in adults who have either physical (“PD”) or social disability (“SD”).

Methods : The study samples 33,672 non-institutionalized adults who participated in the 2015 U.S. National Health Interview Survey (“NHIS”). The data sets are de-identified and are freely available to the public. A waiver for an IRB was received by Salus University for this study. Independent variables were “trouble seeing with vision even with glasses” (VI) and four measures of FI (“running out of food before the end of the month”; “not being able to eat a balanced meal because of cost”; “eating less because there was a fear of having enough food” and “not eating a balanced meal because of cost”. The dependent (or outcome variables) were PD and SP. PD was defined as “having difficulty completing routine needs (instrumental activities of daily living, or IADL). Two age groups were used: Group 1 consisted of adults over the age of 55 and Group 2 included adults between the ages 18-54 years. IBM SPSS Version 23 with Complex Sampling was used to compensate for NHIS use of multiple sampling to achieve sufficient samples in certain socioeconomic and geographical population groups. Weighted variables were used in all models.

Results : There were 48.2% men, 35.8% in Group 1 and 62.4 in Group 2. Those who had difficulties with IADL were 4.5% and 3.1% for SP.
Individuals in Group 1 who had VI were 3.862x as likely to report difficulty with IADL; in Group 2, this increased to 5.460x. In Group 1, those who reported food insecurity when defined by four different variables ranged from 1.162x to 3.700x as likely to report difficulty with IADL. In Group 2, this increased from 2.197x to 8.4.37x. (See Tables 1,3)
In Table 2, Group 1 adults with VI and "fear of running out of food were 3.498x and 3.309x, respectively, to report IADL difficulty; in Group 2, VI increased to 4.708x and "fear of running out of food" to 5.391x. In Table 4, Group 1 adults with VI and "fear running out of food" were 3.241x and 2.249x, respectively; in Group, VI increased to 4.070x and "fear of running out of food" to 4.590.

Conclusions : There is a significant influence of VI and FI upon difficulties with activities of routine needs (IADL) and SP.
Additional research may elaborate and quantify further the relationship of VI, FI and age.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.


Food Insecurity, Vision Impairment and Disability in the Adult

Food Insecurity, Vision Impairment and Disability in the Adult


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